It's the new year, and one thing that's on everyone's list is being more productive - because you want to work smarter, not harder, right? Or maybe you want to work smart and hard.
If you want your New Year Resolution's to actually work out this year, then you need to make sure all your time isn't going to Netflix and eating pizza. And to do that, you'll need a game plan that actually works.
1. Create a game plan.
We've all heard the saying, "Plan to succeed or prepare to fail."
And it's true. If you don't plan for your success, then you're preparing yourself for failure.
If you wake up on Monday morning without the slightest clue of what to do, but you have a million things on your mind that you want to do, you're going to be all over the place and find yourself very exhausted on a Friday night either ready to hit the bar with your friends or lay on the couch all night watching Netflix (which is totally okay btw if that's what you want to do).
But if you want to get more done, then you have to plan out where your time is actually going.
Because I don't know if you've noticed this or not, but checking your phone 50 times a day can quickly become hours of your day spent on the phone. Some studies have shown that the average person checks their phone 150 times.
So once a week, check in with yourself, review your week, and plan the week ahead.
Some questions to ask yourself / things to think over:
- What's working and not working?
- What could you be doing better?
- What tasks can you automate?
- How can you improve your mindset? (Having a strong mindset can help save tons of time and energy in the process.)
- What are the top priorities for this upcoming week?
- What can you do in the mornings to prepare yourself for the day ahead and in the evenings to wind down and relax?
- What are your goals?
Remember not to overcommit.
If creating a schedule is new to you, take baby steps. It's better to have one thing done well, then having fifty things unfinished and never seeing the light of day.
In other words, don't try to meditate, eat 5 servings of greens a day, workout every day, journal every morning, etc. all in one week. Build one new habit at a time.
Check out Zen Habits for helpful tips and resources on building better habits.
2. Have a purpose.
One of the most common reasons why New Year Resolution goals tend to fall apart is because there's no purpose behind in.
And when there's no passion or drive, it doesn't feel as urgent or pressing.
Why do you want to become more productive?
I know it seems like a silly question to ask yourself. Like, who wouldn't want to be more productive, right? But trust me on this, take out a sheet of paper or open up a Google Doc and answer the question.
How will being more productive help you in the long run? What will you get out of it? What is it important to you? What does it mean to be productive?
What does success look like to you? (It's also important to check in with yourself and make sure that you're not busy chasing after someone else's idea of success or productivity.)
Because it's easy to think, "Oh this is important to me because... ", but unless you actively know and often remind yourself of such, it's easy to forget. And if it's that easy for you to forget, what do you think the chances of you doing the things actually are... ?
It's like writing down your to do list and never looking at it again.
How are you going to know what to do next?
How are you going to stay committed to finishing your work?
3. Be present and do one thing at a time.
Again, do not try to do all the things all at once. It's honestly a recipe for disaster, overwhelm, and burnout. (All of which are not very fun.)
You actually get more done by doing one thing at a time, because all your energy is going towards that one thing instead of a million different things.
A great book to read on this is Essentialism by Greg McKeown. If you often find yourself stretched too thinly or going in all kinds of directions, this book is for you. Because you do not get more done by saying "yes" to everything and everyone.
Do the things that are important to you and essential your success.
Set 3 top priorities for yourself every day and get them done.
Because it doesn't really matter if you have a to do list that's 5 miles long if you never actually get anything on it done.
Aim for progress, not perfection.
Oh, and remember to spend less time on your phone. I actually put my phone away (or at least out of my eyesight - you can easily do this by putting your phone behind your laptop) when I'm working because I know that if I see it, I'll just keep reaching for it. (And guess what? There's never really anything pressing when I hit that home button.)
Checking your email and Facebook 100+ times a day does not make you a more productive person.
I'd love to hear from you.
What are some of the things you do for a more productive week?
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- 4 Ways To Reduce Distractions And Be More Productive
- Taking Action: 6 Tips To Help You Implement What You Learn
- 7 Reasons Why You’re Feeling Overwhelmed All The Time And What To Do About It
- 4 Simple Steps To Living A More Meaningful And Fulfilling Life
- How To Stay Committed To Your Goals And New Year's Resolutions