New year, new you, fresh start, and all that jazz. You probably won’t lose any weight, but you can be more productive this year if you put your mind to it. When you’re a busy entrepreneur, employee, or you just want to get a move on on some personal projects, consider integrating these tips and tricks into your day. See how they can help you get more out of your days.
Do more in the mornings.
Establish a morning routine that helps clear your head and gets rid of all those thoughts about work that bombard you the moment you wake up. You can accomplish this by taking deep breaths or taking notes about those very first thoughts to form a plan of attack for them. Getting up earlier can be a big help, too—the earlier you get up, the more time you have to do things like chores or cooking, and the less stressed you’ll feel about your upcoming day.
Try staying with one task at a time.
We’re often told that multitasking proficiently makes us a good worker, but sometimes the opposite is true. Devora Zack, author of Singletasking: Get More Done—One Thing at a Time suggests that multitasking can cut productivity up to 40%. So rather than try to tackle multiple jobs at once, work on one with complete attention. Commit to your choices!
Take a gander at how your desk is organized.
Visual trickery can sometimes be the trick to superb efficiency. If you know where everything is and all the useful stuff is within close reach, you can spend more time doing things that are undoubtedly more important than looking for a pen. “Surveys show the average person loses an hour a day to disorganization,” says New York City-based professional organizer Lisa Zaslow. For optimal efficiency, your desk should be tidy and your monitor should be at eye level and an arm’s length away from you.
Reorganize your work hours.
If you work in a place that will allow you to do so, try a different set of work hours. Some countries, like the Netherlands, have recently reduced the hours in their work weeks, and some companies in the U.S., like Tower Paddle Boards, have instituted five-hour workdays. CEO Stephen Aarstol set official hours from 8 to 1 and lets employees choose which five hours they want to work. He believes people are still getting the same amount of work done in a day that they would in an eight-hour one, spending more time actually working instead of wasting time.