How to Get the Most Out of 2016
A new year provides an invaluable opportunity to start fresh, to begin working towards what you wish to achieve both in life and within the workplace. This idea combined with today’s annual back-to-work pep talk got me thinking, what small improvements can we all make in ‘16 to ensure this is our best year yet? I then posed this question to some of my work colleagues and collectively we came up with these top 5.
- Get more sleep
In today’s tech driven world, it is all too easy to lose countless hours of sleep due to idle scrolling. However, unbeknownst to many, the damage can stretch far beyond your internet bill. Healthy adults require seven to nine hours sleep to function at their optimum level. A good night’s sleep can make a huge difference to your productivity and, likewise, a bad sleep can be as equally detrimental. By shaping your routine to optimise sleep duration and depth, you’ll be increasing energy, alertness and overall efficiency. We know amending your ‘bedtime’ to ensure you get the recommended amount of sleep can be quite the adjustment. Try to remember that in the long run your body, and career, will thank you.
For those who struggle to fall asleep no matter how exhausted they may be when it comes time to switch off, try experimenting with the environment. Playing with atmospheric elements like sound and smell can help combat restlessness. Scents such as bergamot, neroli and sage are said to produce feelings of calmness, and softly playing music and sleep sounds can help too. Finally, avoid all caffeine in the lead up to sleep as its effects can last for several hours after consumption.
These may seem like small changes, but we assure you the benefits are great. Ultimately, getting more out of your sleep will ensure you get the most out of your day! If sleeping problems persist, consult your doctor.
- Plan your day
What do you do whilst you eat breakfast and commute to work? Perhaps you read a book or check your emails, maybe you browse Facebook and scroll through Instagram. Whatever your pre-work ritual, we suggest taking 5 minutes each morning to think about your goals for that day. Making an, albeit loose, plan of attack cuts down the time it takes for you to ease into your work flow.
Whilst some people may be confident in their ability to mentally note these goals, I personally prefer having a physical copy. In fact, call me old fashioned if you will, I still use a notepad. If you’re more technology inclined, you can easily create a to-do list using notes on your smartphone or tablet, or using one of the various note taking apps available (e.g. Evernote). A physical list gives you something to refer to throughout the day and promotes a feeling of accomplishment as you cross off, tick, or delete items as you complete them. Give it a go, what do you have to lose? You’ll be surprised how just 5 minutes each morning can affect your entire day.
- Sell yourself
Dress and act for the position you want, not the one you hold. In a world that is increasingly materialistic, think of yourself as a package. You may work hard but without the right attitude or demeanour, that work may go unnoticed. No, it isn’t always fair, but this is a reality of business. It is more imperative than ever to both walk the walk and talk the talk. It’s not that hard to swap the T-shirt for a tie (there’s plenty of how-to videos on YouTube), or jeans for a more professional look. Some people prefer to stick to the sidelines as there’s less risk involved but, if you want in on the action, the goal is to get noticed. Work for it and work it!
- Organise your space
A cluttered desk can cause a cluttered mind; organisation and tidiness can improve productivity drastically. Don’t worry, I’m not about to go all ‘feng sui’ on you. However, having a neat and organised space promotes both cleanliness and practicality. It also ensures the tools you require are easily accessible, be those tools a laptop and its many applications or a toolbox. Furthermore, try to think of taking pride in your space akin to taking pride in your appearance. Project the self you want to be and, given time, you’ll reach your professional goals far quicker than you may have otherwise.
- Set goals
Finally, just like day-to-day goals, long term goals are incredibly important. Knowing what you want and how you aim to achieve it will keep you on track to doing just that. Don’t expect to reach your long-term goals overnight, nothing worth it ever came easy. Be realistic, set smaller goals that will help you along your journey to achieving those bigger ones, expect that there will be road bumps and plan how you will overcome them. You’ve got this.
If you think we missed something, or want to elaborate on any of these points, please comment. We would love to hear your thoughts. We would also like to wish you a belated happy New Year and congratulate you on taking your first step towards making ‘16 you’re your best year yet by reading this post. Let’s do this.