12 productivity hacks to maximise 2017

A new year is upon us and chances are you’ve resolved to be a better person or higher achiever in 2017. No matter what your goal is, a few simple changes to your routine could make you far more productive and therefore more likely to see positive results.

Here are 12 simple things you can do throughout the year to set yourself up for success:

Wake up earlier

The early bird catches the worm. Setting your alarm just one hour earlier could dramatically improve your life. From getting ahead with emails to going for a run, making a healthy breakfast to meditating, you’ll set yourself up for a much happier and more productive day.

Be on time

There is nothing worse that arriving late for a meeting. One of the best things you can do for yourself this year is focus on punctuality. Not only is it disrespectful to friends, family and colleagues if you’re always running late, but it gives others a poor impression of your ability to organise yourself.

Exercise

The list of benefits is endless when it comes to exercise. From weight loss and overall health, to feeling more energetic and less stressed, regular exercise will transform your ability to be productive.

Drink water

If you’re dehydrated you cannot function properly, it really is as simple as that. Make sure you always have a bottle of water to hand no matter where you are.

Sleep

In a recent article on The Ambitionist we spoke about the health benefits of clean sleeping. Getting at least seven or eight hours of good quality sleep each night is more important than diet when it comes to overall wellbeing. You’ll wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day ahead.

Eat well

In order to maximise productivity you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The age old phrase, ‘you are what you eat’ is as true today as it’s ever been. If you’re filling your body with rubbish you’ll feel lethargic and disengaged; eat a well-balanced diet and you’ll have more energy and enthusiasm for the task at hand.

Streamline your to do list

Often a to-do list as long as our arm is overwhelming; you literally won’t know where to start. At the beginning of each morning write a list of what you want to achieve, then put it in order of priority and assign each task an achievable deadline; finally remove any items that are unnecessary… you’ll be surprised how many there are. This goes for resolutions and personal goals; you cannot achieve everything so choose those that mean the most to you and focus on them first.

Ditch your quest for perfection

My mantra (pinched from Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg) is ‘done is better than perfect’. Perfection will slow you down and prevent you from achieving your end goal. You can always go back and make revisions, you can always keep improving but you have to start somewhere. If you ponder the perfect outcome, you’ll get bogged down and achieve nothing.

Unplug

‘Digital detox’ is a trendy phrase at the moment but for all the right reasons. We spend so much of our lives ‘plugged in’ to technology; phones, computers, tablets, televisions, watches that we often forget to acknowledge the wider world around us. Take a break from the incessant notifications, your mind will thank you for it.

Block distracting websites

We’re all guilty of logging on to our laptop at work and navigating straight to social networks, online shopping websites or news channels. If you know your weaknesses then block them from your system for an allocated period of time each day. There are a number of apps that will help you do this. Watch your productivity soar.

Turn off unimportant notifications

Everything beeps at us; our phone, email calendars, emails themselves, even my bloody washing machine won’t stop beeping until I’ve turned off the cycle. It can feel like we’re being pulled from pillar to post and eventually becomes distracting at best and completely overwhelming at worst. Where possible turn off notifications and choose to engage with technology when you need it rather than when it shouts at you.

Find your passion

Last but certainly not least, if you cannot get motivated perhaps it’s because you have very little interest in the task at hand. If that’s the case, change it. Find your passion and enthusiasm, engagement and ultimately productivity is a by-product.

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