Being more productive could put other goals within reach!

Resolve to Be Productive in the New Year

by Brianna Bell

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According to online poll bureau Marist Poll, in December 2014, 42% of Americans planned to make New Year's Resolutions. All resolutions require the adoption of new habits, whether it be eating healthfully to lose weight, or spending less to save more.

Deidre Parsons, a freelance writer from Elkins, West Virginia, is making the resolution to be more productive in the new year. Parsons finds great value in productivity, "I believe that productivity is important to our self-esteem. When we are making progress and accomplishing things, we tend to feel better about ourselves." Many people are realizing that productivity is the key to success, both in home and work.

For the coming year, consider resolving to adopt some of the following new habits to achieve a more productive lifestyle.

  1. Go to bed earlier: Sleep deprivation leads to lower productivity. Many clinical studies have proven that more sleep leads to higher cognitive function and improved concentration. By getting more sleep, you will be able to focus on your task and find that your memory improves. Head to bed an hour earlier to improve your productivity.
  2. Keep a "to-do" list: Keeping a simple list of tasks that need to be completed will help you to stay on task. Samantha Butler, professional photographer and co-owner of New Vintage Media, recommends apps for your phone such as ToDoist. Butler explains, "When we create systems to ensure better productivity, we create a better workflow and get more done quickly."
  3. Unplug: Trying to multi-task and getting distracted by text messages and Facebook is counter-productive. By trying to remain connected online, you will slow down productivity and the effectiveness in which you complete your task. Consider turning off your phone and disconnecting from social media when trying to complete a task.
  4. Delegate: Delegate tasks to free up time for your work and home life. Dr. Kimberly Maich, Assistant Professor of Education at Brock University, delegates her housecleaning by hiring a professional. She explains, "I pay a company to clean my house every few weeks. I have judged that my time otherwise spent deep cleaning is better spent in elements of my jobs, such as writing."
  5. Keep a list of daily, weekly, and monthly goals: People who write down their goals are 42% more likely to find success, according to research completed by the University of California. By keeping your short-term and long-term goals written and reviewing them often, you are able to stay focused and on track. Goals should be set for both your professional life and personal life. For example, setting a goal of having $5,000 saved at the end of the year is an excellent personal goal to have.
  6. Don't let yourself get hungry: When you get hungry, your ability to focus is greatly diminished. Start practising the habit of healthy eating and eating often, and you will find that your cognitive function improves and your energy increases. The Health Enhancement Research Organization found that people who eat healthy meals are more effective in the workplace.
  7. Use timers: Using timers will increase your productivity both in the home and at work. Some people find that setting a timer in the morning and doing a "blitz clean" allows for them to focus on quickly and efficiently cleaning their home. Others set timers at work for an hour of focused and uninterrupted time to complete important and crucial daily tasks.
  8. Take breaks: Studies show that taking regular breaks helps to increase productivity. A 2011 study in the journal Cognition shows that taking brief breaks between tasks actually increases cognitive function and allows you to stay focused for a longer period of time.
  9. Don't worry about being perfect: The concept of productivity can become overwhelming. Writer Deidre Parsons explains why perfection can get in the way of productivity: " Just be careful not to confuse quantity for quality. It's not about the amount of stuff you accomplish. It's about how thoroughly you completed the tasks at hand. Don't run yourself ragged trying to do it all. Productivity is accomplished one step at a time."

Imagine how much simpler life could be if you were debt free. Now take the first step to getting there.

Productivity is a process, and by committing to even one of these habits this year, you will find that your productivity increases both in your personal and professional life. Just don't forget to write your goals down on paper.

What habit will you be committing to increase your productivity in the new year?

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