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Happy New Year! Here's some quick tips to be far more productive in the new year.
How do you start the new year off on the right foot?
Well, lift your left leg shortly before midnight...
(I can't take credit for that one, it's from a meme I saw on Instagram over the weekend, but it did seem rather an appropriate way to start this first newsletter of the new year!)
It also seemed apt that today I take a minor departure from my traditional format and chat a bit about some of my productivity tips to start the new year off on the right foot (so to speak).
1. Re-evaluate your projects and commitments
I think new years is the time we reassess a lot about our lives, from relationships to commitments. This is time commitments, what we are spending our energy and time on, who we are spending our energy and time on. But it's also a great time to reassess our projects and the tasks they involve. My friends and I have discussed this often, taking stock of what is and what isn't working, and it's something I think all of us should try to do as we start a new year. Whether you are reading this newsletter right now as a member of the media, a publicist, or the owner of a small business (or a little from column a, b, and c!), you'll discover that if you take the time to take inventory of your tasks, responsibilities, and obligations some will be helping you move TOWARD your goals, and some will be holding you BACK from your goals. This will help you decide which tasks to concentrate your energies on in the coming year, and which to scale back on.
2. About boundaries...
It's OK to acknowledge your own limits and be clear about them. For every person that will be different, but by being open and honest about them, it helps to manage expectations and keep everyone on the same page. For example, I'm always very clear that I seldom am able to do daytime events because of all the same-day stories I do. But this also works as far as clients and projects. Don't even try to be everything to everyone all the time. More isn't always better. It's much more beneficial to everyone if you focus on your strengths and goals and priorities and that way you'll be making progress moving toward where you want to be.
3. Don't leave loose ends
I dealt with this a lot over the holiday break, but it's something that is still top of mind going into a fresh year. Sometimes the best way to conquer new projects is to finish off all those final tasks related to the ones we were already working on. Our energy just gets depleted if we're trying to keep our hands in too many places at once. But if we close those loops, and tie up those loose ends, then all our energy can be focused on moving forward.
4. Disable your smartphone notifications.
I'm not saying to delete your social media accounts (but I do think you should try to avoid them during the workday).
But delete those nonstop popup notifications. All the buzzing and beeping and ringing and dinging is endlessly distracting and you'll get a lot more work done and have a lot more focus if you aren't dealing with hearing and seeing those alerts all day when you have things you need to be doing. It's about avoiding distractions but also staying in that groove. Trust me, try it. You'll thank me.
5. Wake up a half hour earlier
Whatever time you wake up normally -- be it 8 am, 7 am, 6 am, try to wake up a half hour earlier. Make that half hour a gift of quiet time to yourself to enjoy your morning coffee, read the morning's headlines, go for a walk, or go over your calendar or day's agenda and get yourself centered. That half hour will help you start the day from a place of a lot more focus.
6. Track your accomplishments
I'l let you in on a little secret: I have struggled with self esteem issues my entire life and I suffer from major imposter syndrome. No one could ever make me feel bad about myself as well as I make myself feel bad about myself. BUT: I finally discovered taking the time to recognize and take stock in my accomplishments has made me feel confident enough to reach for bigger goals. Whether this is journaling or vision boarding or just making a list in your notes app, taking note of your accomplishments -- literally writing them out and acknowledging them -- is the best way to move toward your next goal.
7. Do one thing at a time
Yes, even if you have 6 things due that day. You will get a lot more done and make a lot more progress toward your goals if you start something, give it all your focus, and then move onto the next thing. Even if it feels to you like having three things you are working on at the same time makes you more efficient, it actually makes all the things take longer and makes you have less focus on each one. And, splitting our brains between various tasks at the same time is a great way to miss things, make mistakes, and have things fall through the cracks.
Do you have any productivity tips that work for you? I’d love if you could share them in the chat!