With 2019 coming to a close, it’s time to make that inevitable list of New Year’s resolutions. Lots of us will probably resolve to eat healthier, get fitter, spend and save more wisely and maybe travel more, or spend more time with family and friends. However, there's one more resolution you should consider adding to your list; increasing productivity at work.
This does not mean that you have to resolve to spend more time at the office though. Here are some New Year's resolutions to set yourself up for a successful and productive 2020 without burning out.
Rise and Shine Earlier
Successful people understand that the phrase the early bird catches the worm is more than just a cute old adage, it's a fact.
There are all kinds of advantages to be gained by resisting the temptation to hit the snooze button and get up earlier. You can begin your day with a great workout or a meditation session to find clarity and inspiration. Or grab a cup of coffee and map out your goals for the day. 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.
This is a tough resolution to keep. Busy schedules – and the hours spent on digital devices before bed – quickly affect the amount we sleep each night. To be more productive, sleep has to become a priority for you in 2020. A good night’s rest helps protect the heart, the mind, the body and more while also increasing focus and the attention span.
Economists also understand the value of a great night’s sleep. 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.
Barack 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. 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 you don't? 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.
Learn to Love 'No'
Steve Jobs once said “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.
Saying no allows you to prioritize your work and gives you the opportunity to focus on existing commitments. It is a hard habit to form, but one that will make your 2020 a lot more productive if you make the effort to cultivate it.
Do Fewer Meetings
Meetings aren’t always time wasters; some can 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 2020 invest in tools like Slack that allow management and workers to share knowledge, discuss new ideas, collaborate, and boost productivity without the need to sit in a conference room for an hour.