It's almost time for New Year's resolutions! It's when we engrave our new promised outlooks into our notebooks and minds -- determined to better ourselves in some small manner -- whether it's fitness, health, or even taking the stress out of our work life. I'm sharing a few of my best and easiest productivity hacks that are proven to work to help achieve and surpass your previous New Year's work resolutions:
Turn off all alerts
While at work we have lots of important tasks that need our undivided attention. If we're constantly being pinged by our email, phone, text and social media alert, it's hard to get work done. These constant distractions, a minute here and there, all add up and create a major problem. Turn off your alerts, take back your day!
Stop checking email throughout the day
How many times have you been at work, looked at the clock and realized that all you've done is reply to emails. How do you get work done when you're constantly replying to requests? Set a routine to check your email twice per day. Yes, this is possible. You just need to train yourself and others not to expect instant replies.
Take breaks and re-energize yourself
Get up and away from your desk, change your scenery, or take a walk break. These are quick and great ways to change your perspective and give your mind and body a needed break. A change of scenery ensures you have the needed energy to finish your tasks.
Implement walking meetings
Sitting down in a meeting can easily suck the energy out of the participants. If your meeting is one-on-one or with a small team, try a walking meeting. It keeps everyone focused and alert. Usually leading to resolving meeting items quickly. How productive is that!
Plan for today the night before
Take 20 minutes at the end of each day and plan for the following day. This gives you direction for the following day and allows for a stress-free morning as you're already aware of what needs to happen that day.
Do the least desirable task first:
Being productive means getting important tasks done. Sometimes those important tasks are just plain boring. This is when procrastination kicks in. Get important things done first thing in the day, leaving you the afternoon to deal with emergencies and other distractions.
Have an objective and deliverable for every meeting
Meetings can suck your energy. This is magnified even more if you don't know why and what you need to do in the meeting. Be specific and have a meeting objective and deliverable for every meeting you attend or facilitate (agendas are also great). If a meeting doesn't have these two items, I give you permission to not attend!
Clean your desk and surrounding area
Some articles I read report a messy desk means a person is creative. But like all good things a super messy desk doesn't mean you're super creative. There's a fine line between "creative" and "stressful." Clean up your desk and area so you can focus on your activities and not on where things are.
Track your time
Understand how you use time by tracking your day and activities for two to three days. Afterwards, analyze the data. This provides insight for planning future activities and identifying bad habits you may have, which now you know, and can change. Love empowering myself!
Have professional goals and share them with other
Having goals and sharing them with people increases our probability of actually achieve them. When we communicate our goals with others, we tend to be more accountable to them, resulting in a higher rate of achieving them. Very efficient.
Implement these best and easy tips and you will see a dramatic improvement in your professional life. The trick is to actually do them for at least a minimum of 21 days so you can develop them into a habit. So, start today and have the most productive workday EVER!
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