With 2022 just around the corner, most of us are scrambling to pick the right new year resolutions. These resolutions can be branched out into two broad categories: personal and professional goals. To help you narrow down the latter, let us guide you on how you can have a more productive new year.
1. Set SMART goals
Here’s a quick recap of what SMART represents: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Setting goals keeping this framework in mind allows you to devise goals and objectives that are precisely defined and can be achieved with a given amount of time. If you have realistic goals, not only will it be easier for you to achieve them but you will also feel more motivated as you would be able to see that these goals lie well within your reach. A clear set of goals in place, coupled with the drive to achieve them, will lead to higher productivity.
2. Create a schedule
Instead of depending on a mental to-do list and planning to do things as they come along, jot down your tasks in a notebook. Create a schedule for the given day, and also write down the amount of time you plan to attribute to each task. Be realistic. This practice will help you recognize how much time you need to invest in each task, and whether it would even be possible to squeeze those number of things within that timeframe. Simply devising a schedule isn’t enough—be sure to follow it as well, and keep ticking off things as they get done (that has its own satisfaction).
3. Prioritize your tasks
Identify which tasks require more immediate attention. Work on them first, then move on to less urgent tasks. Otherwise, you’d be tempted to invest all your time in the seemingly easier and smaller tasks, as a result of which the more important tasks would ultimately be left neglected.
4. Take frequent breaks
If you work the entire day long without taking out time to take a breather, you will quickly wear yourself out. Take a short break after each completed task. Don’t forget to leave out time for breaks while making your schedule, instead of clumping together all tasks back-to-back.
5. Avoid multi-tasking
We are all guilty of multi-tasking from time to time, thinking that we are getting more things done within a given timeframe. However, that is not actually the case. Focusing on one thing and then starting the next one after the first task has finished is what is more productive in both the short and long run. The frequent switching between various tasks not only consumes more mental energy, but also encourages procrastination—which reduces productivity.
There are a plethora of other ways by which you can adapt a more productive work pattern. Starting with these five simple, yet highly effective, tips would be a solid start to a more productive new year.