Tackle New Year Resolutions With These Simple Productivity Hacks
Whether or not you’ve made formal New Year’s Resolutions, the beginning of a new year is always a great time to set important goals. But as life grows busy again after the holidays, it can be easy to get caught up in day-to-day responsibilities and run out of time for your bigger-picture aspirations. Taking steps to optimize productivity is one way to accomplish more on a daily basis, freeing up time to tackle all of your goals. Here are a few helpful productivity hacks:
Set aside time each morning to focus on your “why.” The neverending list of daily to-dos can be draining, leading to feelings of burnout and reduced productivity. To generate the energy needed to approach your list with focus and enthusiasm, take a few minutes each morning to consider why it’s important for you to complete the work that lies ahead. Whether this “why” is business-oriented—for example, “my goal is to help my clients succeed”—or personal, such as “I want to finish my work promptly in order to have more quality time with my family tonight,” reminding yourself of the values underlying your to-do list can help fuel productivity.
Silence notifications when focusing on work. From incoming emails to the relentless barrage of smartphone notifications, modern technology can be very distracting. When working on a task that requires concentration, block off time—even 30-minute increments—where you only focus on that task and resist the temptation to check email or other notifications. Silencing alerts on your devices may help reduce the temptation.
When appropriate, outsource time-consuming tasks. No one can excel at everything, so trying to master all aspects of your personal and professional lives can be a time-consuming exercise in futility. Whether it means hiring a professional to clean your house, do your taxes, or manage some aspect of your business, outsourcing jobs that detract from your most important activities can boost productivity in the long run.
Unsubscribe from emails and unfollow social media pages that don’t add value to your life. When not managed effectively, clutter in your inbox or social media feeds can become a source of stress and distraction from your most productive tasks. To avoid this, take an assessment of your online accounts on a monthly basis and opt out of any subscriptions with which you haven’t engaged recently. Set deadlines—and train yourself to abide by them. Like it or not, many of us perform best when operating under a deadline. Boost efficiency by setting mini-deadlines for yourself throughout the day and trying your best to stick to them—which generally requires limited periods of intense focus. After completing one of your goals, reward and refresh yourself with a short break.