Exercise and get in shape. Diet and lose weight. Save up money. These are just a few of the most common New Year’s resolutions you’ll hear every year (and have likely set for yourself at some point!). Those are well and good, but this year, you might want to consider your productivity habits.
Are you constantly procrastinating projects in your professional and personal life? It’s tempting to think of highly productive people as machines, but there are simple changes you can make each and every day to challenge yourself in 2020 to be the most productive and efficient version of yourself – you’ll be surprised how much it can positively impact both your work life and your home life.
Not sure where to begin? We’ve got you covered!
#1: Cultivate deep work
You’re facing down a difficult task or up against a tight deadline at work, but it’s just too easy to stop what you’re doing and scroll through Instagram, answer a couple of personal emails or browse the internet. All of this wasted time adds up, and according to a recent survey, over 80% of people waste time during work hours.
Enter deep work, a skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time, sans distractions. You can prioritize and block off time for deep work using a helpful app like Timely, a time management method that schedules your day into set, controlled units. During these times, do not agree to any meetings or calls, put your phone on silent, mute Slack or your email, block social media – whatever you need to do to clear your head.
When practiced strictly, time blocking can help you manage your time far more effectively. And by dedicating a specific amount of time to one task, you aren’t allowed to focus on anything else.
#2: Follow the 80/20 rule
The Pareto Principle (more commonly known as the 80/20 rule) states that, for many events, approximately 80% of the results come from 20% of the input or action. You’ll likely be able to relate to this principle on a personal level. Think of the dozens of apps you have on your phone right now and then think of how many you actually use throughout the week. Now think of how many pairs of shoes you own, but how often you end up grabbing the same few pairs.
You can also apply the 80/20 rule to gain more time in your life and be a more productive person overall. Ask yourself, “Do 20% of my tasks bring me 80% of the results?” This will essentially force you to refocus your priorities – reduce the time spent on easy, shallow tasks and optimize more time for activities that produce more results. You’ll ultimately be able to eliminate many trivial activities and tasks, giving yourself more time back each day.
#3: Get organized
Clutter happens: A few piles of mail you swear you’re going to get through, some expensive knick-knacks that you don’t really like but feel bad tossing, boxes of old photos you’ve been meaning to put away. In reality, you don’t need all of this “stuff,” and it can be affecting you in more ways than you think.
You’ve heard it before, but researchers have proven time and again that physical clutter at home or in the workplace affects productivity in a negative way. A cluttered desk or office space can wreak havoc on your mood and ability to work productively, creating unnecessary stress on your body and mind. Take back control of your space with the ScanSnap iX1500 document scanner. With direct-to-cloud wireless scanning and compatibility with cloud services like Evernote, Google Drive and Dropbox, you’ll be able to streamline your clutter and boost productivity in your newly organized space.
Is increasing productivity one of your goals for 2020? What other tips and tricks do you practice to stay focused and on task?