The new year is the perfect time to take on new habits for increased productivity. We all know 2022 will be full of challenges, so why not start off with a headstart?

Productivity is the essence of what we as an institution stand for. We have always been fascinated by it, and we are always looking for new ways to help businesses become more productive.

But what about when it comes to productivity on a personal level? Are certain people intrinsically more productive than others? Or does their productivity stem from habits they’ve developed over time?

The answer is probably a little bit of both. Some of us are naturally disposed to be more productive, but there are definitely simple ways we can all boost our own productivity and that of the teams we manage. Adopt the following 8 habits to start the new year productively and keep up with increasing demands and expectations.

8 Habits to improve productivity in the new year

The first step to becoming a highly productive person is recognising that you are not alone. Millions of people struggle with procrastination, self-doubt, and uncertainty every day. The key difference between those who work hard and those who don’t is simple discipline. Here are eight habits that can be implemented into your routine in order to increase productivity and efficiency.

1. Remove the unimportant (and focus on the important)

Identify the most important tasks and rank them by importance. You want to work on the most important things for the day. For the non-important tasks, push them to a later date or take them off the list. Learning to say no is very important here.

2. Work on the 80/20 principle (The 20% tasks that makes the most impact)

This habit is about being effective first, before being efficient. Effective means being strategic in approaching your goals by focusing on the biggest impact actions. Efficient means doing your tasks quickly and accurately. While there are many things you can do to pursue your goal, focus your energy on the few tasks that create the biggest impact. By the 80/20 Principle, 20% of tasks create 80% of results in a goal. The other 80% of tasks create only 20% of the results. Being effective is about focusing on the 20% of key tasks to create maximum results.

3. Take strategic breaks (Rejuvenate to walk the longer road ahead)

Taking breaks is crucial to being productive. There are areas in life that work cannot fulfil. Take short breaks during the day. Take longer vacation breaks every once in a while. Doing so helps you maintain focus, take stock, and sharpen your thought processes.

4. Remove distractions (Things that limit your productivity)

In our very connected world today, we are constantly faced with many distractions. One click can end up taking 15 minutes of your time. Online we are bombarded with things that we might be interested in. These distractions cost you time. Evaluate what distracts you during the day. Do an audit. After identifying what diverts your attention the most, try and limit it.

5. Set a timeline (To focus on what needs to be done)

Setting a timeline, especially for a big task, is of cardinal importance. A timeline helps you stay focused and prioritised. It also helps you keep the end in sight. Set your targets. Break down your goals for the month into weekly tasks, then daily tasks. Use this task list to guide your daily activity. This will help you make the best of your days.

6. Create your flow environment (A space that fully inspires you)

A flow environment is an environment that inspires you and helps you achieve peak productivity. Your workspace or desk should have everything you need to be optimal at your work. It should also not contain any distracting items. Do an office or desk revamp. Remove and add items to create the ideal working environment.

7. Use time pockets (Make the best of every minute)

Time pockets are the pockets of time you have in between activities. Usually, one has time pockets when waiting for people, commuting, queuing, or waiting for the next event to happen. Make use of these minutes. Plan your week, listen to podcasts, break down a task, etc. Have things ready to do in these time pockets. You’ll be amazed at how productive they can be.

8. Automate (Use technology wherever you can)

Technology has made things a lot easier nowadays, and why not make use of it! Even when it’s impossible to fully automate the task, we can still automate part of it. When you automate recurring tasks, you can use your time for the most important things. Examples such as e-mail filtering come to mind, bill payments, product sales, scheduling appointments, and many more. Try and automate any repetitive, low-level tasks where possible.

Work smarter, not harder. As you can see, there are many ways in which these 8 new habits can help boost your productivity this year. If you want to be more successful in life and at work, then it’s time to start building these habits into your routine. With a little bit of discipline each day, you will soon find that success is within reach and that this new way of living isn’t so bad after all! These habits are also easy to implement and integrate into a work environment. Can you imagine a team that implements these into their everyday behaviour?

Don’t wait any longer – take action today by implementing one or two tips from our list. What habit have you chosen for yourself? Which one do you think would most benefit your personal goal(s) right now?

Remember that we would love to help with your business’ productivity and progress. Learn more about Productivity SA’s services or get in contact if you have any questions or requests.