Struggling to get back into a routine after the Christmas break? While many of us are glad to see the back of 2020, the new year is not quite the fresh slate we were all hoping for. Where we would normally be re-commencing our daily commute to the office, many of us are continuing to work from home – and without this change in your routine, it can be difficult to motivate yourself to stay focused on your goals and get back into a productive mindset.
If you’re struggling to regain your motivation to kick-start the new year, take a look at these five simple ways to boost your productivity and keep you driven to achieve your goals.
If you suffer from procrastination, you probably find that the finality of an approaching deadline is the incentive that kicks your productivity into full-speed. Therefore, giving yourself self-imposed deadlines throughout your day is a great way to break up the monotony of your routine and gives you goals to work towards.
Timeboxing is an effective time management technique that involves breaking up your tasks into specific chunks of time. For example, give yourself one hour to complete a weekly report. Once this time is up, you then move on to a completely different task, even if you haven’t necessarily finished off the first one yet. Of course, if you find yourself on a productivity streak, don’t let timeboxing cut you short – use it as a way to help keep you going when your motivation starts to struggle.
Mixing up your tasks in this way will not only help to keep your productivity levels consistently ticking along, but it will also help to boost your creativity. By switching up the tasks you’re working on, you are giving your brain a fresh challenge. Rather than struggle for hours on a particular task, moving onto something else will stop you from falling into a slump as you struggle to push through. By timeboxing in this way, it means that when you eventually return to your original task, you can approach it with a fresh mind.
If you struggle to get started in the morning, having your to-do list already made for the day ahead will help to keep you focused and give you a plan for the rest of the day. By leaving your to-do list until the morning, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed with what priorities you need to focus on before your day has even begun – as well as eat into the valuable time you could be using to tick these tasks off your list.
Try to put 10 minutes aside at the end of your working day to create your to-do list for the next day. This will allow you to start your morning with a clear plan of what you aim to achieve by the end of the day, so you can get started right away.
We all have moments in the day where our energy levels tend to take a slump. By understanding when you feel at your most alert, this will help you significantly when trying to organize your day and complete some of your more challenging tasks.
Are you a morning person and find your productivity starts to take a dip during the afternoon hours? Perhaps you struggle to get going in the mornings and find yourself at your brightest around midday onwards? Identifying and understanding the patterns in your motivation and energy levels will help you to organize your work more effectively and keep your productivity levels consistent.
Use the hours in your day that you feel the most alert and focused to tackle some of your larger tasks. For example, if you find you’re at your most productive during the morning (and after your first coffee), use this time to focus deeply on a more challenging task. Then, when your motivation starts to take a dip towards the end of the day (particularly as the winter evenings start to draw in earlier), use this time to tick off some of your smaller tasks that feel easier to accomplish.
No matter how productive we strive to be, we’re simply not made to run on full-steam productivity throughout the entire day. Taking short but frequent breaks throughout the day helps you to step back from your work and recharge, so you can return to your tasks with a fresh mind.
However, taking effective breaks can be a challenge, especially when you feel like your productivity levels are not where you want them to be. As a result, you may find yourself pushing to keep focused when you’re not in the right mindset. Working from home can also make it harder for us to take adequate breaks, either due to a lack of space to move around or simply the fear of feeling like we shouldn’t be away from our desks.
Don’t feel guilty taking a short break to make yourself a cup of coffee for a mid-morning perk, or catching some fresh air outside if you feel your energy starting to lag. These quick breaks will do wonders to keep your energy levels ticking along steadily throughout the day, so you can avoid stress and burnout.
It’s no secret that meetings have gained a bad reputation for making us unproductive. However, when conducted effectively, they can help us to communicate better and save us time from pouring over laborious email threads.
If you feel the hours in your day are slipping by with not enough time to get the work done that you need, be sure to evaluate the time you’re spending in meetings. Working from home, in particular, has caused a rise in meetings – for the simple fact that they are needed more than ever now that many colleagues are no longer working together face-to-face. However, if meetings are eating up your day, then the chances are they are for your colleagues, too. Have a discussion with your team to see how you can cut these meetings down, or make them more effective when they are needed.
Software such as Ayoa hosts video conferencing and Zoom integration capabilities to keep you connected to your team and make it easy for you to hold focused and time-effective meetings. With meetings hosted directly within the app, you can keep your conversations focused and on track by holding them directly alongside your task boards.
Ready to get your 2021 goals off the ground with a productive mindset? Ayoa hosts a range of dynamic and easy-to-use features to help make your productivity soar, from task boards and whiteboards to help you to effectively keep track of projects, to mind maps to brainstorm creative ideas. Its team collaboration features, such as video chat and instant messaging also make it the perfect space for you and your team to stay connected and keep working together towards your goals. Get started for FREE today!
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