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Posted by Maddie Brindley-Slater on 7 January 2022

7 life hacks to make you more productive this year

‘New year, new me’ season is here!

In January many of us take the time to reflect on our habits over the past year, setting ourselves new year resolutions and goals for the year ahead. Frequently, a common new year resolution is to become more productive.

With the start of 2022 well underway, we’re all busy getting back into the swing of things; meaning thoughts of new year’s resolutions are rapidly fading and it can be hard to stick to your productivity goal.

If you’re struggling to stay on the productivity band wagon, have a look at our 7 life hacks to make you more productive than ever this year…

1. Keep a to-do list

First things first, one of the easiest life hacks is to keep a to-do list. Having a check list of all the important tasks in your day, along with their priority and an idea of how long they’ll take to complete is crucial to becoming more productive.

Listing your daily activities in order of importance helps hone better organisational skills, ensuring you prioritise the key tasks first. Giving each task time constraints leads to better timekeeping skills, whilst holding you accountable for not completing tasks within the set timeframe.

You can choose to go old school, with a pen & paper, or do this digitally, using Excel or a project management app like Trello. Whatever you favour, ensure you create a new list every morning.

Work through your to-do list methodically and you’ll naturally start to see improvements in how productive you are each day.

2. Set boundaries

Looking after yourself by setting clear boundaries is an excellent way of becoming more productive in 2022.

Setting clear boundaries in your personal and work life allows you to become more productive by putting your needs first. By this, we don’t mean that you need to become a selfish freeloader. Instead, it is about self-care. Setting boundaries allows you to become the best version of yourself by ensuring you prioritise your own needs first, before helping others.

When someone in your personal or work life is a leach of your resources, it makes it very hard for you to perform to your best ability. By setting clear boundaries around how and when you are available, you give yourself the best shot at being your best productive self.

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3. Declutter your workspace & get rid of distractions

When you’re trying to focus and complete a task, your environment is a major factor in how well you succeed. This is because our brains are constantly taking in and analysing information. The more there is to take in, the more our brains go into overdrive.

If your workspace contains a mountain of paperwork, unnecessary objects strewn over it and a phone flashing with the latest group chat messages, your brain is going to find it very hard to remain focused.

In order to be as productive as possible, take time each day to organise your desk. File your paperwork and clear away any distractions (that new Christmas gadget doesn’t need to be sat right in front of you). Keep your phone out of site and only check it during breaks.

Having a chaotic workspace is not conducive to productivity, so you’ll see better results if you keep your desk (and mind) clutter free.

4. Budget & build up your savings

The future has always been unpredictable, but never more so than over the last few years. The pandemic caught us all by surprise.

Many of us were unprepared for the challenges it brought - in particular, the financial strains and job insecurity. A lesson to be learnt from this turbulent period, is that one of the most productive things you can do for your future self, is to properly budget and set aside savings for those uncertain days ahead.

Allocating a set budget each month instead of spending on a whim (and living outside of your means) allows you to properly portion up your income into several key areas.

One of these areas is your savings; it is advised that you should have 3-6 months outgoings set aside in a fund for emergency periods. With the cost of living and housing reaching an all-time high, having this much secured can seem like an arduous task, but simply taking the first steps towards this goal is a productive starting point.

Give budgeting for the future a try, it’s one of the most productive life hacks you can impart on yourself today.

5. Take up a productive hobby

How many of your hobbies are productive? Ask yourself how much of your spare time is spent doing something with a measurable and positive outcome. Then, ask yourself how much time you spend doing hobbies that reap no rewards, that leave a sour taste in your mouth (social media we’re looking at you).

A productive hobby can be described as any activity you do for fun in your spare time which leads to a beneficial result. Examples of productive hobbies include – going to the gym, reading, meditating, cooking, crafting, writing, walking, yoga, journaling and learning a language, to name a few.

These activities all result in a positive outcome because you are improving your health and wellbeing, learning new things or reflecting on yourself, for example. These hobbies can help you to become a more productive person, because of the positive life changes they garner.

If you’re unsure which hobby is best for you, why not try out a few? The great thing about many of these activities is that they can be tried for free. There are lots of resources available online which can help you trial out these hobbies at home, for no cost.

Try swapping your unproductive hobbies for a new productive hobby – you’ll be amazed by the results.

6. Take frequent breaks

Whether taking breaks throughout the working day, or designated holiday time off for some much-needed R&R, breaks are crucial for our wellbeing.

You may think that having a break from your desk takes your eye off the ball or is inefficient use of your time. Thankfully – this isn’t the case. Studies show that taking frequent breaks leads to more focus, energy and productivity. Additionally, regular holidays throughout the year avoid burnout.

Take time each day to step away from your work area completely to refresh. You could even take the opportunity to practice one of your productive hobbies, for example a quick mindfulness exercise.

The most productive people are the ones that take the time to care for themselves, reenergizing at frequent intervals. Try scheduling frequent breaks to boost productivity.

7. Pursue your dreams

We know now more than ever that what’s ahead of us is uncertain. The dream that you hold off on today, is not guaranteed tomorrow. Life is too short to be doing something you hate. If you want to become your most productive self, take the first steps towards following your dreams.

The start of a new year is a brilliant opportunity for enacting change. Whether you want to completely change careers, or are thinking about starting up a side hustle, January is an excellent time for new beginnings.

If you’re unsure where to begin, getting support from a life coach or mentor can be a brilliant starting point. Coaching & mentoring allows you to understand yourself better, as well as helping you formulate an action plan for your future. A Wiseup Expert can provide the guidance you need to take the plunge on your new journey, acting as a sounding board for your ideas, goals and reflections.

Whatever your goals are, take our quick and easy Expert Matcher quiz and you’ll receive a breakdown of all the coaches & mentors best suited to helping you. You can then book a free Virtual Coffee with your chosen Expert to see how best to move forward.

Take matters into your own hands this January, use our Expert Matcher here. Explore more of our self-help tips on our blog here.

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