The best productivity habits to pick up in 2020
If you have career or work goals as part of your new years resolutions this year, add a few more.
We’re all looking for ways to work smarter, not harder – and after dusting off the remnants of 2019, now is a good time to take stock and find ways to get ahead at work.
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According to workplace experts and business leaders from sectors as diverse as fashion houses, marketing agencies and app development, here are some straightforward – and unexpected – productivity tips you should pick up this year:
Make people laugh
My number one tip for increasing productivity is to use humour to put a smile on people’s face.
Our research of over 10,000 employees in Australian workplaces has shown positive correlations between productivity and positive emotions. That means staff who feels happy, optimistic, proud and valued exert more efforts in their jobs and are more productive at work.
On the flip side, feeling anxious, inadequate and worried is associated with lower levels of productivity.
So, put a smile on people’s face! Smiling releases certain hormones including dopamine and serotonin which increases your feelings of happiness. That creates positive energy and boosts productivity.
–Christina Boedker, workplace expert and associate professor, UNSW School of Accounting
Do more by doing less
It sounds counterintuitive, but doing less work helps you actually get more done. I encourage my team to set very clear goals at the beginning of each day, including to list the achievements that they need to accomplish.
Then you need to allocate sufficient time to each task so it is achievable, and also dedicate time to moving away from your desk for breaks every couple of hours or so, and including some type of physical activity such as going to the gym.
The result is increased focus, energy, being engaged in your overall goals and the goals of the business, and not burning out. So, if you want to get more done, plan your day and take a break.
–Paul Elsibai, founder, ethical start-up fashion house Australian Brands Alliance
Uncover hidden time
Find hidden pockets of time and then use them to be more productive. You can get something useful out of even a couple of minutes. These pockets of time are everywhere once you start looking for them.
For example, by listening to audiobooks every time you get in the car, it’s the equivalent of doing undergraduate degrees in a single year. And remove time vampires like scrolling through social media, casual ‘got a minute?’ meetings, and checking emails the moment they arrive.
–Sabri Suby, founder and head of growth, digital marketing agency King Kong
Track your habits and pick up new ones
If you want to get more done, start tracking your habits and creating new ones. You’d be surprised how much small habits add up to be either big achievements or wastes of time.
So look for repetition in your day and your week – what are you regularly doing that can be stopped or changed to save you time and energy? And then create some simple daily habits.
Often our goals can be distilled into small daily tasks. The key is to visualise the streak so that you do everything in your power to avoid missing a day and thus breaking that streak. You can remind yourself with a mobile app built for the purpose, an alarm on your phone, a calendar, or even attach the task to an existing habit.
–Jamie Shostak, founder and head of growth, app development company Appetiser Apps
Discover the power of just 10 minutes
Don’t underestimate the power of 10 minutes. In 10 minutes you can get distracted and then it takes another 10-15 minutes to get back into your work zone. Equally, 10 minutes can be all it takes to really get stuck into a task that you have been avoiding.
And 10 minutes is all it takes to create a strong plan for your day that is clear, productive, efficient, achievable, and has breaks in between chunks of time. You can get a lot done in 10 minutes.
–Phoebe Netto, founder of PR firm Pure Public Relations
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