What's New? You?
Accomplishing work-related New Year’s goals can be tricky since they need to fit around everything else you’re already doing in your role. Whether you’re aiming for a promotion, trying to hit a sales target, or simply want to collaborate more with others, thinking about how you work and working more efficiently can help you succeed with all of your resolutions this year. Here are six tips for a productive, successful year.
1. Make the most of every minute
If you can’t make your commute healthier by walking or biking, think of it as an opportunity to get more out of it. Listen to audiobooks or podcasts that are specific to your industry, stay on top of personal tasks (write birthday cards, make grocery lists, call friends and family), or read books and magazines that inspire you.
If you work remotely or already have a commute activity you enjoy, look for other empty blocks of of time in your day. Standing in line at the grocery store, waiting in a doctor’s office, or sitting in an airport are all chances to read or tackle tasks you don’t think you have time to accomplish.
2. Focus on focusing
Make it a little harder to procrastinate throughout the day. Curb the Facebook or Twitter habit by turning off phone notifications or using a time-keeping app to measure how much time you spend on a site. Listen to focus-enhancing mu-sic or just disconnect and work offline
3. Spend less time on routine tasks
Employees often spend as much as half of their workday on routine, unproductive tasks. Try a new time management strategy like batching and see how it affects your productivity. You can also pre-plan your week’s goals or schedule appointments with yourself (rather than composing rambling to-do lists) to make sure you’re productive and not wast-ing time without realizing it.
When working with others, swap out long, time-consuming emails with a quick video chat. Even things as small as learning some gmail shortcuts or setting a timer for a daily task can shave several minutes off a day’s tasks and give you more time towards higher priorities.
4. Get moving!
Recent studies have shown that treadmill desks boost productivity. Even if you don’t have one in your office, there are still plenty of ways to stay active throughout the day. Use an app that reminds you to periodically get up and walk around. Keep resistance bands, small weights or a fitness ball at your desk. Make it a point to accomplish tasks stand-ing up—whether it’s video conferencing with remote employees or conducting a walking meeting with a colleague.
5. Cut the digital clutter
How much time do you spend every day looking for specific files or combing through archives? A recent McKinsey re-port shows that it’s probably longer than you think: employees spend almost 20% of their day tracking down information. Taking a little time to get rid of unneeded digital content now will help you save time later. Declutter your desk-top and purge any files or apps that you no longer use. Unsubscribe from emails you don’t read and unfollow social media channels that don’t inspire you.
6. Always be learning new things
According to Forbes, it’s more important than ever to keep learning at work. Chances are that in the not-too-distant future you’ll need new technology and different skills to continue to meet your career goals. So take a Coursera class, study a new language, or learn to code. Or better yet, consider which of your colleagues possess skills or knowledge you’d like to have. Offer to do a skill swap and schedule time to share screens and teach each other something new.