How to be more productive at work in the New Year

busy woman at photocopier

A brand new year is a glorious opportunity to reset your approach to work.

Though it’s easy to list a hundred lofty ambitions on 1st January, we can easily lose track as the year rolls on and our optimistic ambitions sometimes prove tough to realise. By keeping things simple you’ll be far more likely to achieve your dreams for the coming twelve months, and keep efficiency at its highest all year long. Here are four top productivity tips for the year ahead:

Organise your workspace

Ask yourself some straightforward questions: What do I use daily? Weekly? What could I change to work quicker and smarter? A sensible spring clean of your office or desk will help you keep all the essentials in easy reach. If everything has its place, there’s less risk of the disorganisation and delays that come with a mess. Label drawers so you know where things are. Add beautiful details like a pretty pencil pot or an elegant plant to boost your mood as you set to work.

Set realistic goals

Having vague goals in the back of your mind won’t help you stay productive. Brainstorm  rough ideas, then finalise a clear list of goals for the coming year. Put them up high, somewhere visible, so you’ll see them every day. By staying aware of your aims, you’re more likely to remain focussed. Dividing your targets into months and weeks will also be valuable, so a smart-looking whiteboard on your workplace wall should be changed weekly so you’ll keep shorter-term aims in mind.

Remove distractions

In today’s world of smartphone pings and email swooshes, those of us who claim to be totally focussed during the working day are few and far between. In fact it’s widely agreed that smartphones reduce productivity. The key to staying on task at work is simple; cut out all distractions. Deleting apps and blocking websites that get your eyes wandering may be difficult at first, but you’ll be surprised how quickly you adapt to life without them. Make sure notifications are off and that – of course – your gadgets are on silent. Set specific times to check emails and personal messages.

Track your progress

Check in with yourself all year round so you’re more likely to reach your goals by the year’s end. Keep an appealing paper notebook (not a digital one) with weekly priorities in a neatly written list; the satisfaction of checking things off it is an effective reward. Move incomplete tasks over to the following week or month. The mild guilt of not having finished everything should be a gentle nudge to get it done this time around and avoid a pile-up.

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