12 New Year Productivity Hacks For Next Semester
New Year productivity goals are always on the radar when you’ve come to the end of a long year. (Or, in the world’s case, a long two years!)
It’s only natural to revisit where you are and where you are going and ask the question, “Is there a better way?” If you’re at that point, the answer is simple. Yes, there is. You just have to open your brain to the possibility and what those way (or ways) are.
In this article, we will be exploring how to find that better way. We do so through a dozen productivity hacks that are sure to make your New Year better than before. Let’s begin!
1. Revisit What You Are Already Doing
No one starts from the void. You already have some processes that you are using. The first thing you need to do when anticipating the new year is to reevaluate. See how they are working for you.
This can be a highly subjective process unless you’re a religious data tracker. If you’re not, you might consider what you’re currently putting into those efforts. Where once you were passionate, are you now just going through the motions?
Examine how your current routines are making you feel in-depth. Go after processes and workflows that make you somewhat energized or even excited about tackling the day’s responsibilities.
2. Adopt A Journaling Method
Journaling is something you should be doing even if you don’t fashion yourself a very good writer. Sit down. Collect your thoughts. Get it all down into some form of deliverable, even if the only person who sees it is you.
Check out several different methods. Experiment. The web is a haven for ideas. You might consider a brief five-minute journaling method to get started. You can incorporate one that uses guided questions to target the priorities of your day. Or, you could opt instead for a timed free-write to untangle some of the thoughts and priorities competing for headspace.
Don’t want to write anything down? No problem. Use the voice recorder on your phone and speak into it for five minutes about what you have to get done in the day ahead. You don’t even have to keep it or play it back to yourself. It’s all about organizing your thoughts and getting them out into the ether. That better supports an action plan for the day.
3. Do A People Inventory
Sometimes our productivity is most helped or hurt by the people we keep in our lives. Positive people who focus on goals tend to rub off on us.
In the same manner, a more negative crowd breeds negative results. As the old saying goes, bad company corrupts good morals. Well, that’s true for more than morality. It’s also true for how you handle your business.
Try to take stock of the people with whom you spend the most time. As you do so, make a plan for reducing the time you spend with the negative folks while upping the time you spend with the positive. Not enough positive people in your circle? Get some.
And if you can’t find them right away, proceed by reducing the time you spend with negative people anyway. It’s better to be alone than to let people poison you.
4. Read More About What Others Are Doing
There truly are no new ideas under the sun. That can be frustrating when you are trying to come up with some of your own, but it’s extremely helpful when you’re looking for inspiration.
That goes for New Year productivity hacks big-time. We’re all looking for ways to up our games this time of year. It’s easy to get stuck in old mindsets and practices. Even what once worked suddenly doesn’t.
Read as much as you can about how you can combat this. See what others are doing. Experiment with the ideas that jump out at you. Lift ideas verbatim, or take a bit of what works from one ideology to the next and combine it into your own technique. Be adaptable, flexible, and give yourself permission to change.
5. Experiment With What Resonates
To go along with No. 4, be open to the things that jump out at you. The things that you simply can’t get off your mind.
An old friend once said to really become good at something, you should immerse yourself in as many expert opinions as possible. Read, listen, and then forget everything you’ve consumed. The good stuff will stick with you.
You may have your own way of determining what resonates. Whatever it is, take it to heart and be prepared to put it into action.
6. Keep A Daily To-Do List
The daily to-do list is necessary for making sure that you get things done. That’s because it serves as the specific action plan to those garbled thoughts that were in your head.
As you brainstorm and review your goals and responsibilities in the New Year, you’ll see that many are not possible without a series of steps. Forgetting a step can keep you from accomplishing your goals.
Your to-do list serves as a way to unpack complex projects. It keeps you on a path of productivity and accomplishment. No matter how long it takes to situation your daily to-do list, you’ll get that time back on the back end. It will get you much closer to your targets.
7. Plan A Win Each Day
Nothing is more soul-crushing to productivity than not getting anywhere. (Or, at least the feeling of not getting anywhere.) Because of this, you may want to stack the deck in your favor. How do you do it?
Plan some easy “wins” each day. Even if you have to spend all day on a big project, find something that you will be able to cross off your list.
Ideally, you want that “something” to be work-related. However, even if it’s a bit of personal business that has to get done, do it. Finding a way to start the completion process is a great momentum-builder for the rest of your obligations.
8. Move Big Projects Forward Every Day
Got something that you know won’t be accomplished in a single day? Of course, we all do! That’s no reason to let it sit without any signs of movement. If you do, well, that’s how procrastinators and subpar work are born.
Break every large project down into as many action steps as you can. This will enable you to create that feeling of forward momentum each day, even if you can’t really get close to the end.
If you end each day being able to cross one or two legitimate actions off your list, that’s less time you’ll have to devote to it later. You’ll have physical and psychological momentum as the days progress. Any type of progress is good, and it improves the chances that inspiration will strike.
9. Use Existing Resources
Every good productivity plan starts with preferred resources. Take stock of the things you have that make you productive. What are they?
Are you more a cloud person, using apps that will save everything you do to a web-based storage? Maybe you work from a hard drive or a basic pen-and-paper notebook. Whatever the resources are that spark your creative mind, put those to work for you.
You may want to try new programs or techniques along the way, or integrate into what you’re already doing. Making a determination is easier when you already know what works for you.
10. Invest In New Ones
Don’t be afraid to make an initial investment of time or money into something new. The worst that can happen is that you find out it’s not for you and move onto something else.
If it’s an app or a software program that you’re thinking about, most have some kind of a free trial period where you’re out nothing but the time that it takes to explore and test. The dividends that it could pay are well worth that time/money investment.
And even if you try something and it doesn’t work, that’s still a win. You learn more about your own productivity habits. That will help future decision-making.
11. Learn To Let Go
Letting go of people, things, practices, you name it, can be incredibly difficult. Over time, you might build an emotional or philosophical attachment to them. But that attachment can keep you from exploring better opportunities.
Is there anyone or anything in your life that is no longer bringing you joy or energy? Do you feel your heart sink whenever you think about it? Are the throes of boredom close behind?
If so, then you need to address it. Let go of something or someone, even for a while. You might pick it/them back up later. When you do, you usually do so through a new and better dynamic.
12. Adopt A Resilient Nature
Be prepared for failure. Expect things to not go your way. Ask yourself at all times, even during times of success, what your path will be forward if this-or-that doesn’t go according to plan.
As you do, you will learn the powerful art of resilience. Resilience is being able to bounce back and weather storms as they come your way. It is necessary in school, and it is necessary in life.
The only way you get stronger at it is to work those resilience muscles when things aren’t going your way. Some days are going to feel like total losses when it comes to being productive. Ask yourself during and at the end of each day how you are going to correct those issues tomorrow.
Your New Year Productivity Habits Begin Here
We hope these New Year productivity hacks have triggered a renewal in you heading into 2022. This is the time to strategize and get your game plan in order.
Now it’s your turn, readers. What are some specific methods that you plan to employ for upping your productivity game in the year ahead? Share in the comments section below!
[Featured Image by Pixabay Creative Commons License]