Another new year brings with it a fresh canvas to paint your goals and dreams for 2015. But, as January rolls into February, many of us find our resolve fading and it just becoming another year we try to stay above water. There are proven tactics you can take to ensure that 2015 is not only productive for you and your business, but also that it brings about the goals and dreams you intend for it to have.
(1) Plan Out Each Day the Night Before
Each afternoon or evening, plan out the next day. Taking time to plan your day will ensure that your day happens on purpose. Most people let their day happen to them instead of taking charge of it. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Simply sitting down with a piece of paper or your task pad on your smart phone to jot down the important things you would like to accomplish will set you apart from the masses in terms of your productivity and accomplishments.
(2) Schedule Time In the Day to Read and Return E-mails
Most of us check our emails as they come in. This is one of the biggest time wasters. Turn off email alert notifications and set aside 20-30 minutes twice a day to read and return e-mails. Otherwise, this sort of multitasking (reading an email while in the middle of a task) is sure to set you behind and take you off track. It takes the average person 11 minutes to get back into their routine after stopping to read a text or an email. This simple strategy will end up giving you more time in your day to accomplish other tasks or simply to get ahead … or even leave early to enjoy some personal time!
(3) Make Time to Walk and Get Inspired
Statistics show that we are the most inspired when we are outside walking. It’s when our most productive ideas come to us. Stanford psychologists discovered that when people walk they increase their creativity by 60 percent compared to when they sit. Not only is this an opportunity to exercise our physical bodies, but it will allow you to stay happier, more focused and more inspired. Just 30 minutes of walking per day can enhance your serotonin levels that make you happier, more positive and bring about inspiration. So get walking!
(4) Get Your 5 Most Important Things Done First Thing
The “5 Before 11 Rule” is a great trend to adopt. Pick 5 things that if those 5 were all you got done in the day, you would feel productive and accomplished. We all know that the day can be filled with distractions, unexpected phone calls, and just unplanned disruptions that can derail our day. A good example of a task you can accomplish before 11 is scheduling to have all your old documents destroyed so that they do not become a liability. Click here for more information about checking that task of your list. Ensuring that you get 5 important things done well before lunch-time will set you up for a very productive and successful 2015.
(5) Slow Down to Speed Up
It’s human nature to rush through one task to move on to another. But, when speed takes priority over accuracy, all efficiency is lost. Mistakes can be embarrassing, cause serious setbacks and they are a poor reflection on your work ethic and capabilities. Instead, when you complete one task (for example, a spreadsheet or a memo), check it for accuracy and then double-check it before moving on or submitting it to a client or to your boss. Over time, this simple habit will result in gaining trust of your clients, co-workers and leaders.
(6) Staff Your Weaknesses
Abraham Lincoln was known for hiring several political enemies to be in his cabinet while he was in office. Many thought this practice was political suicide. But, Lincoln felt that the individuals he selected were the best for the job and were necessary for the future of this nation. He hired people who were strong in the areas he knew he was weak. Over time, Lincoln ended up winning over their trust and turning them into allies. So, take a lesson from Lincoln and “staff your weaknesses.” Society often teaches us to work on our weaknesses, but that is a poor practice. Successful people know that they should work their strengths and staff their weaknesses.
(7) Surround Yourself With Positive and Productive People
Neapolitan Hill wrote in his famous book Think & Grow Rich about the importance of surrounding yourself with positive people. This time tested practice has since been written about and talked about by hundreds of tremendously successful people. In essence, you become who you surround yourself with. So, make your associations intentional. If there are negative influences in your life, eliminate, or at least begin to minimize, the time you spend with these negative thinking people. Take a minute to think of the 5 people you know who you admire most. Make it a point to call each one of them to set up some time with them. Even if it’s just for coffee. Don’t be intimated to tell them you admire them and would love to buy them a cup of coffee to learn more about how they’ve become so successful. It is almost certain they will be flattered by it and happy to meet with you. It’s very important to always have a mentor who is helping you to intentionally grow and learn. If you don’t have someone like that right now, begin to read personal growth books that will serve as your mentor until you find someone.
Dawn Connelly, Esq., Owner All Points Mobile Shredding, a NAID AAA Certified Company