With 2016 coming to a close, it’s time to make our list of New Year’s resolutions. For many of us, our goals include eating healthier, saving more money, or traveling. Why not add increasing productivity at work to your list?
Here are five resolutions to set yourself up for a successful and productive 2017:
1. Wake Up Early
The early bird catches the worm, but the truth is, most of us hit snooze more times than we care to admit. Successful people understand the benefits of waking up early. They start their mornings with routines that set a positive tone for the rest of the day. Instead of savoring another 10 minutes in bed, begin your day with a great workout or a meditation session to find clarity and inspiration. Or, grab a cup of coffee, map out your goals for the day. This often leads to better focus and higher levels of productivity. And, believe it or not, if you get up one hour earlier each morning, you will gain 15 days in a year. Just think of how much more you can accomplish.
2. Get More Sleep
For most of us, this is a tough resolution to keep. Busy schedules – not to mention the endless hours spent on digital devices before bed – can quickly affect the amount we sleep each night. To be more productive, sleep must be a priority. According to Health.com, a good night’s rest helps the heart, the mind, the body and more while also increasing focus and the attention span.
Economists have also realized a great night’s sleep is a critical part of the productivity equation. A study by two economists found that sleep has a definite effect on productivity, which in turn might affect worker wages. In fact, just one extra hour of sleep a week raised short-run wages by 1.5% and long-run wages by 4.9% because of raises and tips for higher productivity. For an employee earning $50,000 a year, that’s a bonus of $2,450 at the end of the year.
President Obama exercises for 45 minutes a day, six days a week. Virgin Group founder Richard Branson gets four additional hours of productivity every day by working out. American Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour is on the tennis court by 6:00 AM every morning before work. What do these highly successful people know that we need to know? People who exercise are more productive.
Studies show that our mental firepower is directly linked to physical exercise. Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, which can help sharpen awareness, increase creativity, and boost energy. Regular physical activity also improves mental health. Exercise releases serotonin that helps make the stresses of the workday easier to manage. If you don’t have time to put in a full cardio workout each day, make small changes to meet your New Year’s resolution. Take a walk during your lunch break or take the stairs instead of the elevator.
4. Say “No” More
Steve Jobs once stated, “Focusing isn’t about yes, focusing is about saying no.” “No” is a word most people are afraid to say at work. Research from the University of California in San Francisco shows that the more difficulty you have saying no, the more likely you are to experience stress, burnout, and even depression. To be productive, we must say no, whether that’s to a distraction or an unnecessary meeting. Saying no allows you to prioritize your work and gives you the opportunity to focus on existing commitments. Check out this article for more ways to increase productivity by saying no.
5. Schedule Fewer Meetings
Meetings aren’t always time wasters; some solve problems, align teams, and spark innovation. However, meetings can take up 35% to 55% of your time without adding any value to your work day. Instead of scheduling more unnecessary meetings in 2017, invest in tools like AnswerHub Knowledge-Driven Productivity (KDP) to allow your workers to capture and share knowledge, discuss new ideas, collaborate, and boost productivity without the need to sit in a conference room for an hour.
Make 2017 your best year yet. Stick to these simple New Year’s resolutions and the increase in your productivity might surprise you!
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