Do you feel like 2019 slipped by you and you weren’t able to accomplish a whole lot of anything? You’re not the only one. But we’re in a new decade now, and there’s no better time to develop a more productive lifestyle.
Here are 5 ways to be more productive in 2020.
1. Set Goals
The best way to be more productive in 2020 is to set goals. Get in the habit of setting both short-term goals and long-term goals—jot them down in a journal or write them out on a wall calendar. Your short-term goals mostly serve as stepping stones to help you achieve your long-term goals, which tend to be bigger and more impactful.
Consider using task management software to help you keep track of your daily, weekly, and monthly goals. You can use these kinds of programs to schedule out your day-to-day tasks, and some of them are compatible with time-tracking plug-ins so you can evaluate whether you’re spending too much time (or not enough) on any given project.
2. Get Better Sleep
Do you frequently feel drowsy or unfocused during the workday? You might be feeling that way because you’re not getting enough sleep at night. Experts recommend that you get about 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep at night.
If you’re not sleeping for 8 hours, try getting to bed a little earlier. Put away your laptop and cell phone at least an hour before you go to sleep, because their bright screens can mess with your brain and keep you awake. You can also try dimming the lights an hour before bedtime, or you can read a book.
You might not be sleeping well because you keep waking up in the middle of the night. If you have sleep apnea, consider getting a sleep apnea mask to help you breathe. If you just have noisy neighbors, then wear ear plugs or drape blackout curtains over your bedroom window. You could also just have a bad mattress—consider upgrading to a hybrid mattress and a kapok pillow. You’d be amazed at how much a change in cushioning can improve your night’s sleep.
3. Get on a Routine
There’s no doubt about it: having a daily routine makes you far more productive. But a lot of people avoid following a strict routine because they do tend to be monotonous—and the 9 to 5 work day is already full of monotony. However, a routine is a great way to be productive, and it’s necessary if you’re trying to achieve weight loss or complete a large project on schedule.
Try building a productive routine for just the work week. Break up each day into time slots for work, making dinner, running errands, etc., and leave your weekends open to do whatever you feel like. But if you feel that a 5-day routine is too burdensome, then try keeping a routine for only two or three days each week—use these days to work on your hobbies, exercise, or get tasks done that you’ve been putting off for a long time.
4. Do Fun Stuff
It’s important that you make time for fun every week. If you work for too long without any kind of stress-relief, you’re going to get burned out at work, which will ultimately make you less productive and negatively impact the quality of your work.
Be sure to use all your PTO that your company offers you, and also try and make the most of the days you have off from work. Try new dining experiences, travel someplace new, and spend time with friends. If you have a weekly routine, consider scheduling in some time for fun. A little fun will go a long way in keeping you focused at work.
5. Put Down Your Phone
We practically live off our cell phones. We not only use them for making phone calls and texting, but also for emailing, social media, mobile games, and music. Unfortunately, it’s easy to waste a lot of time on your cell phone. Have you ever realized that you’ve spent the last hour playing games on your phone, or endlessly updating the news feed on Facebook?
Get in the habit of your putting your phone away when you don’t need it, preferably somewhere you can’t easily access it—out of sight, out of mind, as they say. Although a smart device is a helpful tool to have in your everyday life, don’t let it distract you from getting stuff done.
Hopefully you’ll be able to use one or more of these tips to improve your productivity in 2020 and become a happier and better man in the new year.