Published: 14 December 2017
As a society we have become so used to planning our days down to the minute! We have gadgets and gizmos to measure our steps for the day, alerts for the fastest route to work, an app for the shopping list we jotted down while we were on the treadmill, answering emails and ordering new shoes online. Everything seems to be efficient and yet in the whirlwind of things, it can feel like there is always more to do. With New Years day around the corner, it is the best possible time to refocus our habits to boost productivity in a better, more balanced way. Here are 5 easy tips to integrate habits that will help you to get the most out of 2018:
1. Get a Regular 6 - 8 Hours of Sleep Daily
Syncing your body up to a regular sleep cycle enhances its ability to achieve REM cycles which gives the brain time to rest and enhances productivity when awake. Consistent sleep cycles can significantly improve performance but getting to bed at the same time every day forever can be near impossible with a whirlwind schedule so instead of an ironclad bedtime, commit to getting the minimum hours throughout the day even if it means take a midday nap on the days that you have to pull an all nighter for work or attend a social function that cuts into your sleep time. Try to regulate as much as you can so you can be sure to fuel up your brain and body so it can cope effectively with whatever comes your way in your day.
2. Buffer Your Schedule
Back to back appointments is enough to drive anyone crazy! One delay could mean a domino effect in your day. By creating 30 minute buffer pockets it gives you some breathing room for unforeseen events which could mean running into an old friend at the cafe, an unexpected client call, or jotting down a sudden inspiration without interruption.
3. Create Your To Do List the Night Before
Evaluate where you are at in your week and plan the 3 most important tasks for the next day the night before. This ensures that you are mentally prepared and ready to roll from the moment you wake up. It can help you to avoid that scattered feeling when competing priorities creep up at the last minute and help you to prioritise them accordingly.
4. Make the Most of Your Peak Hour
Whether you’re an early bird or a night owl knowing your most productive period of the day can ensure that you use your peak time to your advantage. Put your most onerous tasks in the slot where you generally feel the most alert and motivated and avoid planning appointments or social engagements during this time.
5. Pare Down on Unnecessary Daily Decisions
There is a reason why some of the most productive people in the world have a ‘uniform’ of sorts. You can declutter your day (and mind) by eliminating the need for unnecessary decisions. Buy neutral colours like grey, black, brown and blue in your wardrobe that compliment each other easily so that you’re not wasting time with matching shades, colours, and shoes each morning. Prepare lunches for the week on Sunday and pack them in daily tupperwares so you can grab and go instead of wasting 30 minutes frolicking aimlessly around Marks and Spencer's food aisles each day.
You will be amazed at how much time you can save in a week by implementing a few timesaving tweaks. It is simply about creating more space in your day to accommodate all of life’s demands versus becoming consumed by the idea of ‘productivity’ itself. Be sure to give yourself ample time to form the habit and experiment with what works best for you.