Animated image of a man working behind a computer with symbols meant to represent productivity.

At the start of a new year many people make a promise to themselves that moving forward, they’re going to do things differently. This is known as a New Year’s resolution. These resolutions often take the form of new diets, new workout routines, and other forms of self-betterment.

While those are all worthwhile resolutions, placing a focus on one’s professional development should also be considered.

That’s why, two years ago, we suggested five realistic resolutions that can be made in order to set your career up for success.

The suggestions we made included strengthening old connections, placing a focus on professional networking in order to make new ones, and trying to learn new skills.

While we still recommend these endeavors, finding the time to work on them all is another issue entirely. And considering that the average worker is only productive for less than three hours a day, there’s a lot of room for improvement in just this area.

So, in this blog post, we provide five easily enacted productivity tips that’ll help you optimize your time and talents.

5 Productivity Tips to Help You Optimize Your Time

Commit to the Five-Minute Plan

Oftentimes, getting started is the hardest thing to do. Studies suggest that procrastination chronically affects 15-20% of adults, and that approximately 25% of adults consider procrastination to be a defining personality trait for them.

We’ve all been there. We have a large project to do yet sit there spending more time worrying about what needs to get done instead of acting.

To beat procrastination, commit yourself to doing five minutes of whatever you may be putting off. Working on a task for that short amount of time, no matter how dreaded the task may be, is an easy thing to convince yourself of doing. And in doing so, you’ll most likely end up completing the task you set out to do.

Start with the Easy Tasks

There are two schools of thought when it comes to which tasks to begin with. There are some who suggest leading off with larger more difficult tasks because it will make all others seem easier. The downside, however, is that the larger tasks may take more time to complete and make it harder to get to everything else on your to-do list.

For those who have trouble getting started, however, leading off with smaller, more easier tasks is the better bet. If you get the ball rolling with tasks that are easy to accomplish, it’ll help build momentum for your workday. Thus making it easier to keep the ball rolling.

Plan for Tomorrow

At the end of each workday, take five minutes to plan for the next one.

Planning ahead can help you start the day with your priorities and expectations in check. By simply writing down which tasks need to be accomplished, you’ll be walking into work with a clear action plan. This, in turn, will help lead to a more productive workday.

Isolate Yourself from Distractions

In the remote work era, it can be difficult to isolate yourself from all distractions – especially if you’re a working parent with kids at home. That said, families and pets aren’t the only forms of distraction.

That’s why it’s important to limit as many distractions as possible. Turn off the tv, silence your phone, mute text conversations, and turn off social media notifications. Those types of distractions are major disruptors and can ruin your train of thought.

Instead, set aside time each hour to check your notifications, text messages, and voicemails.

Get Some Sleep

“A good day starts the night before.” – Ariana Huffington, CEO of Thrive Global and former founder of The Huffington Post

There are many high-performing business leaders who are willing to work long hours and sacrifice sleep in order to get things done. Doing so, however, can increase your chances of burn out.

That’s why we recommend getting a good night’s rest. It’ll help your brain recharge, boost your cognitive performance, and ultimately improve your productivity at work.

So, start the new year off right and heed our advice. By following these five easy to enact suggestions, you’ll become a more productive worker.

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