2020 was no doubt a year that none of us will forget for some time. While I am certain we all created great memories and improved ourselves in many ways, I would presume it is safe to assume to we all are hoping for a better 2021. Creating a better 2021 starts with getting the most out of it! New Year, New You, New Productivity.
It’s the time of year to leave bad habits behind and cultivate better ones. Also, this is a perfect opportunity to upgrade your list of 2020 New Year resolutions to be more productive both at work and in your private life. At Todo Cloud we have compiled a list of the 10 habits you should really consider implementing this year if you are serious about productivity.
Mind mapping is a powerful approach you can easily build as a healthy habit for a productive life. One of its most significant benefits is it develops your ability to problem solve and think creatively. Read more about Mind Mapping on this instructional website. Effective and efficient problem solving can significantly improve our day to day like maybe nothing else.
Stick to Your To-Do List
This sounds cliché, but many distractions and stress come from unaccomplished tasks. So, it is important to actually complete your to-do list to reach your 2021 New Year’s goal. You will feel a sense of accomplishment and forward progress after getting things done! Start by logging into Todo Cloud and making a checklist for each of these items.
Take Strategic Breaks
Don’t feel guilty about taking breaks. Taking breaks is good for your productivity, and even better for your mental health. You are just giving your brain time to refresh and relax. Resting boosts performance, productivity, and well-being. There is a difference, however, between a strategic break and losing focus, drive, or interest. Taking strategic breaks is meant to help avoid the negative and keep you focused on the positive. Plan for them, schedule them and keep your day moving exactly as planned.
Apply 80/20 Rule Goal Setting
80/20 rule is a popular principle which means 80 percent of your results will come from 20 percent of your work. This principle suggests you eliminate the things that are less important. To apply this rule you need to break down your work into smaller pieces and focus on the 20 percent that brings the most results. This can be difficult at first but with practice can be of great value. Think about the many tasks that you do each day that add little to no value. Think about automating them, changing them, or swapping them out for activities of greater value.
Focus Your Morning on Yourself
Another strategy to increase New Year’s productivity is using your morning to focus on yourself. Mornings truly set the tone for the day. Consider eating a good breakfast, reading a newspaper, or meditating to start your day. Control your schedule from the moment you wake up. Do not allow emails, news, or an early stubbed toe to dictate how the rest of your day will play out.
Distractions destroy productivity. We each have our own pitfalls that keep us from accomplishing the things we want most. Eliminate distractions by using some of the new great tools that we are now surrounded by. Whether it is eliminating screen time, staying focused at your desk, or procrastinating your work, removing distractions is a must this year. Read a few of the linked articles above to help you eliminate your distractions.
What some call multitasking is actually rapid focus shifting that depletes the brain of chemicals we need to concentrate. It simply doesn’t improve productivity, in fact, it does the opposite. Dr. Daniel Levitin outlines how this is the case in his talk “Multitasking is a Myth”.
The depletion of important brain chemicals is not the whole story though. There are certain mindless tasks that can be done while focusing on what is important. Consider things like walking on a treadmill while catching up on emails or folding laundry while listening to a podcast. There are ways to optimize time, but trying to focus on two separate objects that can be inefficient and ineffective.
Without a timeline, there’s no schedule and no deadline. You can split your project into concrete steps to complete one by one. It creates a clear direction for your project, making tasks more attainable. I myself am guilty of having no timeline and telling no one of my goals. DO NOT make this mistake, be more accountable to yourself and reap all the benefits of doing so.
Reward yourself for hard things, little things, successes, and sometimes even failures. There is a “golden rule” for rewarding yourself and it really is simple. Do what works best for you. If you need a little reward to get you to the next task, do it. If you need to stay focused through all of your little tasks and be rewarded with something large later, then do that. Rewarding yourself is not meant to cause any extra stresses but instead, it is meant to help you avoid stress and lift your spirits occasionally. Find what works best for you and don’t forget to reward yourself consistently.
Take Good Care of Yourself
You are your greatest asset. Learn to take care of yourself. It is easy to see ourselves slipping in one aspect and quickly overcompensate. Make sure you are finding balance mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually. Eat that healthy breakfast, meditate, get to the gym, attend work socials, take naps, and make sure you are taking care of yourself at all times.
New Year New Productivity
The list above I know can seem long and daunting. I am as guilty as the next guy for not really incorporating many of these in my own life. I will tell you a secret though, the time in my life when I was doing most if not all of these was high school. When I was competing in sports, balancing school work, and other extracurriculars (mainly a crazy girlfriend), I had some of the greatest routines. I set goals, had timelines, took breaks, rewarded myself, focused on things that were most important, focused on myself, had a great morning routine, etc.. I even got a pedicure before the state championships my senior year. So if high school Cannon can incorporate a bunch of these, believe me when I say, anyone can do it!
You don’t have to be brilliant to incorporate these habits because productive people are made, not born. We wish you the best of luck incorporating these new habits, and a happy new year!