Today, we’re going to be talking about 10 ways to help boost your productivity and motivation for 2021. With what will reside in the history books as one of the most significant years of the modern era behind us, it’s essential that we kick-start the year of 2021 with all the motivation and productivity we can; but how can we achieve this?
The problem has been compounded by the fact that for a huge slice of the population, the holiday period that we’ve just passed wasn’t the usual opportunity for rest and relaxation. With government restrictions imposed around the globe, a lot of us might not necessarily feel as though you’re rested and relaxed after the break as you should be. Heading into a new year feeling like this can wreak havoc with our productivity at work – and even in our personal lives – so let’s talk about the 10 most simple, yet effective ways to boost your productivity and motivation for 2021.
These are a mix of professional and personal development, psychological and motivational tips to keep you productive and motivated in your professional life. I’d like to preface this list with the fact that if you’re feeling in need of support as the year starts off, there’s two things to consider. This is normal, and recognition is one of the most important aspects to tackle before you can turn your spirits around. Secondly, please reach out to your family, your friends, and even your colleagues if you’re feeling this way for a prolonged period.
2020 was a tough year, and as we move into 2021, it’s better if we’re all supporting each other.
Write Down Your Accomplishments
Struggling to get excited for the new year? Don’t worry – most people feel overwhelmed at the prospect of a new year, particularly after the year we’re leaving in the rear-view mirror. I think one of the most effective ways to curb these feelings is to write down a list of your accomplishments over the past 12-months, both professionally and personally. Your professional accomplishments will remind yourself and your colleagues of how you were able to navigate the waters of the infamous year of 2020, and should act to buoy your spirits as you move into 2021.
Our success in the present and the future is underpinned by the results we’ve achieved in the past, so don’t underestimate the importance of noting your accomplishments.
Create Your Routine
Psychologically speaking, one of the best ways to kick your brain into a state of motivation and productivity is to lay a solid foundation of organisation. Before you can build a skyscraper, you need to have an in-depth set of plans, and the same applies to your professional development and ability to produce high-level results over a prolonged period of time. Excellent performance in the workplace starts with a routine that encourages creativity and productivity, while rewarding the brain and offering it frequent breaks. Not everyone works in the exact same way, though, so tailor your routine to your body’s ultradian rhythm and you’re likely to see more productive results in 2021. For more information on capitalising on your ultradian rhythm, click here for a blog we’ve previously published.
Keep a Calendar
As we mentioned earlier, a routine and optimising your organisational skills helps your brain enter 2021 with more ease than if you dive head-first into an unorganised quagmire of deadlines and obligations. One of the most common symptoms of burnout in the workplace is that feeling of being overwhelmed, and obviously, one of the most effective ways of combating this is with a calendar. Your calendar should map out the big ‘rocks’ in your career, the all-important deadlines that can’t be met, as well as the less-pressing tasks that can always be pushed back.
The human brain is a wonderful thing, but you can’t expect it to keep on top of everything without some form of organisation… Do yourself – and your brain – a favour by using a calendar more; if you’re not already.
Stop Comparing Yourself
This is a personal one that I wanted to add to the list of more well-known and scientifically proven methods of boosting your motivation and productivity in the new year. We all need to stop directly comparing ourselves to others. While yes, it can no doubt be useful to gain some motivation at times, I’d argue that studying social media posts from people that have a seemingly better x, y, or z than you does no good to the human psyche. Social media posts are representative of the best ‘version’ of a person and are not likely to represent reality, so keep that in mind when you’re comparing yourself to someone else.
Get in contact with Next Practice Education if you’re looking to kick-start your organisation’s results in 2021
Stop Checking Your Emails
Well, don’t stop checking them entirely… but stop checking them all the time. People spend far too much time in their inboxes doing largely unproductive things. Set up an email inbox that filters the important messages from people in your organisation – or personal life – and separates these from newsletters, ecommerce offers and all the other things that end up in our inboxes. Try not to open up your emails first thing in the morning when you wake up. Try to respond to the non-pressing issues in your inbox later on in the day. Stop thinking that you’re ‘working’ when you’re just deleting spam emails and eating away at your finite productivity and motivation for the day.
Eliminate Distractions in Your Workspace
This is namely a point about the smartphone that is no doubt hovering just a few inches from your computer right now. While they’re brilliant devices, they’re also extremely good at catching your attention and never letting it go throughout the day. When I enter the workplace, I switch my phone to ‘do not disturb’, throughout the day, and I try to avoid the applications on my phone that are proven to be a black hole when it comes to eating up a person’s attention.
Practice Self-Care, Mindfulness, and Escape in Your Hobby
Like I mentioned in my introduction, this holiday period might not have been all the relaxation that your mind, body and soul wanted. In light of that, you should start taking more seriously the concepts of self-care, mindfulness and escaping into your hobby to give your brain a moment of rest and recovery. This is arguably the most important takeaway from this piece. If you’re going to stay truly motivated and productive throughout this year, your brain is much better equipped for the job if you’re giving it the right chemical mix and ensuring it’s not enveloped by constant stress.
On that note, it’s time to take exercising more seriously – if you’re not already. Aside from the obvious health benefits to your appearance and overall health, exercising provides your brain with an opportunity to escape from the burdens of work and recharge on some of the hormones it needs to produce results day after day. Don’t think of this as a process of immediately running a marathon every day; you just need to keep your heart rate elevated for a period of 30-45 minutes.
Less Screen Time
This is a takeaway for everyone, and it’s self explanatory. We’re becoming more and more transfixed by screens, regardless of where we are and what we’re doing. My argument, however, is more specific to screen time in the hours before we sleep, and after we wake up in the morning. Blue light emitted from our phone screens can wreak havoc on our circadian rhythm, which dictates our sleeping patterns. Without the right amount and quality of sleep, it’s unlikely that you’ll sustain high levels of motivation and productivity for a long period of time.
More Read Time
With less time looking at your phone, you can now spend more time looking at a book! There are countless psychological benefits of reading – regardless of the fact you’re reading a professional development book or you’re escaping into a fantasy world. The simple act of reading can radically improve the mental health and productivity of people, so this year, try your hardest to finish that book you’ve been looking at for months now.