Looking back at this year, do you feel confident and proud of everything you’ve accomplished? Either in your personal life or professional life, do you feel that you maximize your time and the output of your efforts is desirable? Productivity impacts us all in one way or another. Maybe you’re already extremely productive but there are areas that could use improvement in the new year. Or maybe you’ve never really considered how you could change your habits to work better for you. Regardless of your situation, here’s how you can refine your productivity habits for 2020:
First, it’s important to be very honest with yourself. If you’re going to change something, you have to know what to change. Think about your day-to-day or even approach this from a weekly basis. What days or even time of day are you more productive – why? Once you make a list of those, look at your routines during those days (even if it’s vague). If it’s more helpful, just look at the past two weeks. Did you get enough sleep on certain nights or start your day with a full breakfast? Maybe you squeezed in 30 minutes of exercise on certain days. Once you’re looking at a list, you’ll probably find a few trends.
Now that you know areas that need improvement or even areas that were working for you, get really specific with your plans. If you found out the days you were most productive, you were able to exercise before work – put pen to paper and make an actionable plan to make that happen. For example, it could be that most days you don’t exercise before work because you don’t get enough sleep to wake up that early. Your new plan involves consistently going to bed one whole hour earlier. If you get specific for each point, it will motivate you to put your plan into action.
There’s a wealth of information available for tactics to increase or improve your productivity. Don’t be afraid to try some of the more innovative options to see what sticks or works for you. For example, this recent survey about the lives of gamers shows that the study participants believe gaming fosters productivity. In fact, 54 percent of respondents playing online games at work. In this case, you could build in 30 minutes at lunch to take a break and play an online game. Or maybe you work in a mid-afternoon strategy game to keep your mind sharp for the rest of the day. When it comes to refining your habits, get creative so you’ll be inspired to try new things!
It’s not enough to set this new plan in place with just wishful thinking. You’ve heard of New Years’ resolutions and most people don’t get very far. Set your intentions for these new habits to improve productivity and then hold yourself accountable. One of the best ways to do this is to set quarterly alerts on your calendar that also include your written plan. Once these go off, take an hour or so to sit down and evaluate what’s been working and what hasn’t. Of course, circumstances outside of our control often get in the way, and that’s ok. As long as you pick back up and get back on track. Maybe you need to adjust your schedule or maybe you need to start over – whatever the case is, make it your goal to check in each quarter!
With a new year quickly approaching, we have another 365 days to be the best we can be. Productivity can be a beautiful thing – happy planning!