Around the Impulse Creative office, we recently shared our goals for the upcoming year. Several teammates shared that they want to be more organized and more productive, but weren’t sure how to get started or how the rest of the team could help. Are some people just more detail-oriented than others? Are some people just more naturally organized? Here’s a few easy things that even the most disorganized worker can do to make them more productive around the office. Here’s our nine tips that you can try for your New Year’s Resolution this year:
#1 Set a Specific Goal
You will be more likely to make a real change in your daily work routine if you set a goal that is specific. Instead of “I want to be more organized”, say something like “I won’t leave any loose papers on my desk anymore” or “I will finish three tasks everyday before lunch.” That way you can more accurately measure if you are moving in the right direction or not.
#2 Be Committed
“It’s not that some people have willpower and some don’t. It’s that some people are ready to change and others are not.” ~James Gordon
In order to really change your work productivity, you are going to need to stay committed. Studies show that people with a high commitment level in their work are more successful and better at achieving goals than people who aren't.
When you stay focused on one task, you’ll finish that task more thoroughly and be able to move onto the next. Studies have shown that we use only slightly more brain power when we are doing multiple tasks at one time than we are when we're focused on one task. Hypothetically think about using all of your brain power on one task for work, like writing a blog. But then a new email arrives and you begin typing a reply, and suddenly the focus is cut in half. Then your office phone rings, which diverts our attention even further. If you’re trying to stay organized, you know this is a recipe for a messy disaster.
#4 Ask to be Held Accountable
Ask your family, friends, and coworkers to keep you accountable in your quest to be more efficient at work. Saying your specific goal out loud will further push you to stick with it, since the social pressure will be there. Also, if they are asking you whether you are staying true to your resolution, your goal won’t slip your mind when you’re busy.
#5 Get Creative (Outside of Work)
Don’t let being productive at work take over your entire life. The best way to come in to work refreshed and ready to stay organized and focused is to give yourself a break and do something you’re really passionate about outside of the office. Giving yourself a creative outlet broadens your experience and actually builds your potential to get your work done better as well.
#6 Think Big
You do need to set specific goals that are difficult but achievable, but limiting yourself is a crutch that too many of us use to be safe. Let’s go back to the examples above. Is three tasks before lunch really the best you can do? Maybe three tasks is pretty easy, and if you stay dedicated you can push yourself to five tasks completed before you need a break. If you’re trying to make a real change in your workflow, this is how you need to do it.
#7 Invest in Relationships
When being more productive at work comes first, relationships can suffer. That could apply to existing relationships or the potential for new relationships. You may not be an outgoing, natural-born networker who is comfortable meeting new people and making friends, but all of us need at least a few relationships with people who can support us. Don’t stress yourself out about meeting your goal so much so that you lose sight of your family and friends.
#8 Get Healthy
Countless studies link health and exercise to productivity, happiness, and longer life. Think back to the last time you had a great jog on the treadmill and ate something that was actually good for you. How did you feel afterward? You probably felt like you were ready to take on the world. If you’re feeling your willpower decrease, just go for a walk and you'll see a difference in your outlook.
#9 Break Free From Your Phone
This one is probably the most essential, and the hardest to do at the same time. Constantly looking at your phone, whether it is to check Facebook notifications or text your spouse about dinner plans, breaks your concentration for the task you’re trying to complete. A study just came out that pointed out that nearly all of us look at our phones during other important activities, like socializing with our loved ones. If you really want to complete the other tips on the list, you need to ditch the smartphone and focus on what matters.
There you have it, nine things you can start doing today to help your workflow, get more done everyday, keep you organized, and produce higher quality work. A resolution like this is good for everyone- you, your family, your coworkers, your business, and your customers! But that’s not all you can do to help your customers in 2016. Download our free eBook The Beginner’s Guide to Inbound Marketing for other ways to attract, convert, and delight new people to your business this year.