In 2017, many people will make resolutions again and then immediately break them. Why? Because they won’t do anything different. They don’t have commitment plans. They’re just wishing.
Enthusiasm is common. Commitment is rare.
Studies show that resolutions begin to drop off after a week and only about 40% of those who made resolutions actually stick to their goals. University of Scranton study found out that only 8% of Americans actually follow through and achieve their goals.
Experts say the reason for these failures is that many of us lack the proper structure to support the behavioral changes our new goals require.
Knowing what to do is not an issue, COMMITTING to it is the problem!
Maybe it’s your focus and planning that need a tune-up. Or better still, you need to build a better and smarter plan to get more things done each day or week.
Instead of creating unrealistic and overwhelming goals you can’t achieve, focus on realistic and short-term goals you can actually accomplish. Using simple mini productivity hacks allow you to make small but consistent progress.
Focus on these every day, week or month to consistently get work done.
- Dedicate time each week to prioritizing big picture goals for the coming week or month.
- Instead of writing lots of goals you can’t achieve, focus on the process that actually gets you closer to your goals and commit to those habits.
- Put timelines on each task and give yourself a deadline to get those tasks done.
- Follow strict daily routines. Peak productivity’s not about luck. It’s about devotion and total commitment.
- Stay in the moment. If you feel overwhelmed (like pretty much everyone), it might not be because you have so much to do, but rather that you are trying to do too much at the same time, says Douglas Merrill founder of ZestFinance.
- Ignore your instant messaging (texting, email, and social media). This probably sounds a lot easier than it is as most people tend to check theirs every 5–10 minutes. But if you add up all of the minutes that it takes to continually check your inbox and then reply, it’s easy to see why it’s such a time waster.
- Deal with something only once. Do it now. Then it’s off your mind, and you can fully focus on the next matter.
- Write a stop doing list. Every productive person obsessively sets To Do Lists. But those who play at world-class also record what they commit to stop doing. Steve Jobs said that what made Apple Apple was not so much what they chose to build but all the projects they chose to ignore.
- Don’t say yes to every request. Most of us have a deep need to be liked. That translates into us saying yes to everything — which is the end of your elite productivity.
- It pays to say no. Don’t be so available to everyone. Zero interruptions. Pure focus. Massive results.
- Multitasking doesn’t work. Researchers believe that the human brain only has so much processing capacity — so in trying to carry out several different tasks at once, you’re creating a bottleneck, rather than maximizing your efficiency.
- Use task tracking apps like Todoist, Wunderlist, or Asana to get generic tasks done throughout the day when you have a few free minutes.
- Make it a priority to get everything done that you put on your list each day. Be religious about not procrastinating.
- Carry a schedule and record all your thoughts, conversations and activities for a week. This will help you understand how much you can get done during the course of a day and where your precious moments are going.
- In order to make the best use of your time, your day should be made up of a series of goals that have specific milestones.
- Use your calendar as a “real-time” diary of whom you call and what you do in time slots throughout the day. Makes it easier to remember in the future.
- Use your smartphone technology to dictate reminders, events, and tasks that need to be done as you think about them throughout the day.
- If you’ve got a particularly large project that seems overwhelming, break it down into smaller and more manageable chunks. Then tackle each one at a time. Keep a list and feel the sense of achievement when you tick off one of those smaller tasks.
- Take the first 30 minutes or less of every day to plan your day. Don’t start your day until you complete your time plan. The most important time of your day is the time you schedule to schedule time.
- Follow the 80/20 rule. Only 20 percent of what you do each day produces 80 percent of your results.
- Set a time frame and deadline for your most important projects, and be realistic about the length of time they will take.
- Plan to spend at least 50 percent of your time engaged in the thoughts, activities, and conversations that produce most of your results.
- It’s important to organize your day around your body’s natural rhythms, says Carson Tate, founder and managing partner of management consultancy, Working Simply. Tackle complex tasks when your energy’s at its highest level (meaning if you work best in the AM or PM, do what works for you).
- The brain also learns and executes complex tasks by lumping together similar items. Tate suggests leveraging this ability by scheduling similar tasks back-to-back. For example, you may make all of your phone calls one after another, or draft and send emails at one time.
- A good dose of fresh air and daylight, away from the unnatural environment of an office, is good for the soul. Particularly if your office environment is stuffy and dark and relies on air conditioning.
- It’s critical to take breaks and let your brain rest. Take a walk or socialize for a bit to refresh for new tasks. You’ll come back recharged and ready to achieve greater efficiency.
- Celebrate progress and keep refining toward a happy productive year.