If there’s one thing I dread come January 1st it’s the ‘New Year, New You’ emails. The one’s that promise to change your life, make you a better person and grant all of your lifelong wishes. Please. As much as I reject the marketing angle of a new year, I do revel in the notion of starting afresh. Sure, technically it’s just another day but, just like every Monday and the beginning of a new month, it’s the opportunity to shake off the past or anything that didn’t quite go according to plan and try again. In short, get your shit together to have a more productive 12 months.
As someone who doesn’t make resolutions I do, however, make goals. Realistic ones. Jotted on a notebook and everything. And top of the list this year is to be more productive and organised. I wouldn’t say I’m a flake – I appreciate a schedule and a to-do list as much as anyone but I’m a massive procrastinator. If there’s a window to make small talk with the postman over replying to emails, I’ll take it. But deep down I know that I’m so much happier and more motivated when I finish the day feeling like I’ve achieved something.
In the past I have worked myself into the ground (read about it here) and feeling guilty for not keeping up with my goals without a clear path or strategy to help me get what I want. So, at the end of 2018 I started to put certain routines in place to help me become more productive in work and also in my personal life to find a better balance of priorities.
While everyone’s routines and goals differ, if you’re lacking direction of how to be the very best version of yourself and nailing your productivity, these are a few things that have worked for me.
I’ve always been a bit of an early riser. Nothing crazy but my ideal day would start at 7am in the winter and 6am in summer. It’s when my productivity soars and I can get a jump on the day before the emails start rolling in at 9am. I won’t lie, it’s not always easy. In fact, its rarely easy but it is worth it. Not everyone is a morning person and it may be that you feel more productive at night which is totally fine too. But for me, rising with the sun is where it’s at.
Although I know spending 15 minutes scrolling on my phone is not the best way to fire up my brain, it is my guilty pleasure until I find a healthier alternative. After I catch up on the world, I bundle up and make a cup of tea and a hot water and lemon which I drink over my laptop, making a rough to-do list for the day.
After I feel a bit more with it, I jump in the shower and get ready for the day – often make-up free but dressed with my hair done and slippers on!
Being self-employed means that in order to be productive you have to be very motivated. Without a boss or superior to gee you up and set out a clear path for your day, it’s up to you and you alone to find the tools to kick arse! But whether you’re working for yourself or in an office, it’s easy for productivity levels to plummet. One of the tools I have found most useful is podcasts. I absolutely love them and they’re a great way to discreetly get a dose of motivation. Some of my favourites are
How To Fail
Smart Passive Income
At Home With
The High Low
Starting a new health and fitness regime is up there as the most common New Years resolution but 80% of us give up come February. While having an intention to channel a healthier you is great, I have three pieces of advice
- Find something you LOVE – whether this is netball instead of the gym, a veggie dinner once a week or simply getting off the bus earlier and walking, exercise comes in many different forms and you’ll actually want to do it.
- Set clear, small goals – training for a 10k or losing a certain amount of weight can be overwhelming. Set smaller, attainable, weekly or daily goals to make it more manageable.
- Get off to a winning start – hiring a personal trainer is a great way to kick start your goals and having a proper structure to motivate you.
I always feel my best when I have a workout routine in place. This then has a knock-on effect on my diet, mental health and productivity. Exercise has always had a huge place in my life but last year it slipped to the bottom of my priorities and everything suffered as a result. This year I’m scheduling workouts in as I would a meeting and, so far, I’m already feeling like someones lit a rocket under my arse!
The key to being productive is to make sure that you have your ducks in a row in all areas of your life. Finding a balance between bossing your to-do list and the space to be creative and inspired is so important to grow and get more enjoyment out of what you do. Something I want to do more of this year is read more. Escaping the pressures of everyday life and getting lost in someone else’s world is a great way to expand your imagination and switch off without a screen.
As well as novels and autobiographies, I want to combine reading with being productive by swotting up on books that can help me to become more efficient in my work life. These are some of the books I snapped up over Christmas
Zero to One
Outliers: The Story of Success
SHOP THE POST