How To Maintain Productivity at the End of the Year

As the calendar approaches 2019, companies nationwide are prepping for their annual holiday parties and the new year. Employees are likely using up their last remaining PTO days and the mood in the office just has a different feel. Maybe it is the festive decorations, or the glaring lack of colleagues on a December Friday. With the year winding down, it seems that your productivity may follow suit.

In order to stay on top of things and start the new year on the right (and most productive) foot, there are a few things you should do, according to Karlyn Borysenko.

Make Your Goals Tiny

We’ve always been told that our goals need to be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely), and this is still the case. However, Borysenko suggests that you make your goals “tiny,” or simplify them. She says, “You can take control of your experience by breaking your goals down into their tiny parts, and working through them bit-by-bit.” The benefits of making your goals smaller are:

  • They are easier to start. Sometimes the goals we set for ourselves are so large that even starting them is a huge challenge. When the goal is smaller, and more attainable, getting started becomes easier. As Charles Carlson said, “You are successful the moment you start moving toward a worthwhile goal.”
  • They help you create a habit of success. If you’re anything like me, you like making to-do lists and crossing things off. However, not crossing things off might make you feel like you haven’t accomplished much. If you break these goals down into smaller goals, not only will you be able to cross things off and feel more accomplished, but you will get into a habit of being more productive throughout the day.
  • They set you up to reach the big goals. Some people prefer setting huge goals and working towards them, regardless of how long it takes. Borysenko uses the example of running a marathon:

“Say you have a goal of running a marathon but have never run a mile before. Instead of focusing on the big goal of 26.2 miles, you focus your attention on the tiny goal of one mile, which is much more attainable! The day you hit that mile for the first time, you let yourself feel a fantastic sense of accomplishment. Then you change your goal to 2 miles, and achieve that. Then you run your first 5K, and so forth.”

Break Out Your Headphones

Depending on your office environment, the every day grind can get a bit noisy. Open floor plans are great for collaboration, but your colleagues might come over to chat about last night’s game, or your holiday travel plans. As a result, you get distracted and engaged in conversation to not come off as rude. Therefore, your productivity dwindles. The solution? Putting your headphones in and focusing on work.

Research has shown that listening to music while working actually increases productivity, but not just any music. The genre that sparks the most productivity is that with no lyrics, such as classical. If working while listening to music isn’t your thing, many people actually use their headphones to give off the message that they’re listening to something, even when they aren’t. The act of wearing headphones gives off the message that you’re “in the zone” and coworkers will likely avoid the distracting small talk.

Start Your New Year’s Resolution Early

Did you know that more than 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by February? Research shows that it takes 21 days to make or break a habit, so by starting your resolution early you can get ahead of the game to make it a part of your daily routine. One of the most popular resolutions made is to get back in the gym, and rightly so. Research shows that exercise can have fantastic benefits on productivity at work, including: a 41 percent increase in motivation, 21 percent increase in concentration and a 22 percent increase in finishing work on time.

Consistency Is King

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

When you do the same thing day in and day out you build consistency. Even when the going gets tough and you don’t want to do it, you do it anyway trusting that your efforts will pay off. Eventually you won’t even think about it anymore and your habits will become second nature. Every time you feel that your productivity is dwindling, consider these tips to get back on track.

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