Every January, people everywhere make big plans for the new year. They spend time choosing a theme or a word, they envision their big goals and big changes, and sometimes even make resolutions.
But studies show that less than 10 percent of people actually make any lasting changes based on their big January goals.
I don’t think it’s because most people are lazy or because they don’t want to achieve the things they put on their vision boards; I think it’s much more likely that they don’t know how to take their goals from vision to reality.
It’s one thing to make a big beautiful audacious goal for yourself in the new year, but it’s another thing entirely to figure out how to make it happen, which is why I’m pulling out five of my favorite productivity tips to help you get your goals this year:
- Plan to succeed
The biggest step you can take to make yourself more productive is to make a plan. That’s why I created the 12 Months From Now Vision Worksheet to help you design your big goals for the next year. You have to start with the big vision before you can break it down into 90-day goals, monthly goals, weekly goals, and even daily goals.
Pro tip: Try it now! Spend these weeks before the new year visioning your next 12 months so that when January 1 rolls around, you can hit the ground running.
- Prioritize your tasks
Some work is deep work and some work is surface work, and understanding the difference is important to being productive. How many times have you gotten sucked into email for hours at a time and decimated your productivity for the day? But how important were those emails, really? Understanding your most important work and prioritizing it will help you make more progress on any given day.
Pro tip: Check out Stephen Covey’s Important/Urgent time management matrix to help prioritize your work each day.
- Avoid multitasking
Real talk: How many tabs do you have open right now? Science tells us that multitasking actually decreases productivity rather than increasing it. The more often you can focus on a single task (and shut off the beeps, dings, and flashes of anything else that wants your attention) the more productive you will actually be.
Pro tip: I love the Pomodoro technique for practicing focus. Set a timer for 10, 20, or 30 minutes and focus on a single task for that time. Then take a break and start again. It’s a great way to train yourself to focus when you’re used to multitasking.
- Schedule your most challenging work for when you are at your best
We all have our natural cycles, and it’s best for your productivity to schedule your deep or most challenging work for the time when you’re at your best. Maybe you’re best first thing in the morning and that’s when you should do your deep, creative work — instead of starting the day answering emails and checking social media. Or maybe you need some time to wake up your brain and mindless admin tasks make sense first thing in the morning. Only you can tell!
Pro tip: If you’re not sure when you are at your best for deep work, try switching things up. If you usually check email first, try diving into a creative project first thing and see what happens. You may be surprised!
- Prioritize self care
What’s fascinating to me is that productive people are actually more likely to take breaks, exercise, have good sleep habits, and eat healthfully. I think that’s because they understand that they are their most valuable asset. You can pull an all-nighter once in a while without any long-term effects, but you can’t work yourself ragged all the time and expect your health and your productive output not to suffer.
Pro tip: Ask yourself where you’ve been letting your self care slide and build that into your vision for the next year. Use our 12 Months From Now Vision Worksheet to help you create a comprehensive vision for your business and your lifestyle.
Of course, it all starts with your vision, which is why I recommend downloading our 12 Months From Now Vision Worksheet now to help you dream your best dreams and get your goals in the next 12 months. Once you’ve done that, you can use the Goal Achievement Planner inside Business Class to help you break down those big dreams into manageable chunks.
Whatever you dream, you can do! I believe in you!