Productivity Tips for the New Year

By: Gina Mason

As we welcome 2015, many of us reflect on the past year and begin to think about all of the things that we can improve upon. One common New Year’s resolution that many people have (outside of losing weight or joining a gym) is to be more productive. In our world of constant connectivity, smartphones and multitasking, it is hard to stay productive when we have millions of distractions a day. For most of us, it seems like the days get shorter and we find ourselves saying, “if only, there were more hours in the day.”

I recently read a fantastic Huffington Post article titled, “12 Habits of Productive People” with some great tips on how productive people get things done effectively and efficiently. Here are a few of my favorite tips from the article, in hopes to help us all make 2015 our most productive year yet:

Don’t be chained to your email.
We have all done it, spent hours and hours scanning our inboxes and constantly hitting reply, send or delete. According to the expert, Robert Pozen, “email is one of the biggest barriers to productivity” because people “are overwhelmed” by it and “don’t know how to deal with it.” He suggests checking your email every hour or so and save time by skimming the subject lines.

Make your to-do list count.
One of my favorite things to do is to make to-do lists. Call it my Type-A personality or simply call me crazy, but I find them to be an incredibly helpful tool to stay organized. However, expert Adam Grant suggests, “starting off [your to-do list] with an easy task to provide a sense of momentum, then moving on to a grander or more important task. That way, the positive energy from the first task carries over to the second task.” Feeling sluggish after all of that work? Try “switching back to an easier task to rejuvenate and regain a sense of progress before going back to a harder, more time-consuming task.”

Have a plan for distraction.
Things happen all the time that keep us from getting work done. Keep yourself in the game and one step ahead by planning for distraction. Grant suggests trying to “anticipate any possible distractions and then come up with solutions for avoiding them.”

Sharing is caring.
The term “sharing is caring” comes to mind, but not for the traditional use. The article suggests that telling someone that you are working on something makes you more accountable. This “self-imposed accountability” will keep you on track because you won’t want to let that person down.

It only takes a few small changes to make you more productive and with time, these small changes can make huge difference. Here’s to a very happy, healthy, prosperous and productive New Year! Cheers to 2015!

As always, I welcome your comments and if you like what you read be social and share.

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