How to Boost Your Productivity Game in 2022

If you’re the type of person who makes New Year’s resolutions, being more productive is probably on the list. In fact, it probably makes it onto everyone’s list — year after year after year — because productivity can be elusive for everyone.

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Even if you started 2022 with a few constructive months, by April you may already be slacking off. The commitment to productivity in your job and personal life can be as untapped as your gym membership. “Maybe tomorrow” becomes “maybe next week,” then “maybe next month,” and so on.

Before you allow your good intentions to pave the way to you-know-where, take notes. There are ways you can restore that drive to be productive and make it a habit instead of a hope. Don’t just aim to up your productivity game in 2022; make it possible.

Set some boundaries

If you don’t put limits on what you do and don’t want to do, you will always end up outside the limits. When you decide what not to do in 2022, you can focus on what you are doing. These boundaries will help you say no to wasting time and yes to getting things done.

Boundaries are rules used to guide interactions with others. These interactions can be with family, friends, coworkers, or even the barista at your favorite coffee shop. This means they are personal, professional and transactional.

You may decide this is the year not to indulge in office gossip. Or maybe you choose not to run to the bathroom and hide every time that annoying co-worker comes up to you. Imagine what you could achieve just by placing these two activities out of bounds.

Your productivity will increase when you are centered instead of lurking on the periphery. Obviously you need to set some boundaries to know where they are. But once you’ve done that, you can focus on what matters and leave the unimportant outside the lines.

Breathe life into that to-do list

Now that you’ve established some rules for what you won’t do, make a list of what you are. To-do lists come in all shapes and lengths, so start by deciding which format works best for you. If you’re unsure, don’t be afraid to try on a few for size.

Make sure your list doesn’t linger on your desk like the company’s last strategic plan sat on the shelf. A good list should be consulted and revised every day, checking off items and adding new ones. If it doesn’t, adjust the way you make the list or don’t bother to have one.

You can add structure to your list by using with your calendar instead of a bunch of sticky notes. It forces you to think realistically about the time it takes to complete a task. Plus, you’re less likely to overschedule the volume of tasks in a day of meetings.

To-do lists can do more harm than good when they overwhelm rather than encourage. If your current method isn’t working, give her some oxygen. Done right, your list (and that strategic plan) should be a living, breathing thing.

Free up your prime time

Everyone is sometimes more productive than others. The time of day, day of the week, or month of the year are all variables. The trick is determine where your productivity sweet spot and use it to your advantage.

If 11 a.m. Monday morning with two cups of coffee is your best time, block it on your calendar. Instead, schedule one task for that time, especially one that is important, has a tight deadline, or is difficult. It’s a great opportunity to tick off a lingering assignment.

Freeing up the blocks of time when you’re most productive also means eliminating related distractions. Close your office door (if you have one) and put up a “do not disturb” sign. Put your phone in a drawer and mute those annoying notifications so you’re not tempted to check.

If you make it a habit to save your most productive times for actual production, even your employees will notice. This can help them not distract you even though they are working in a cubicle or open office space. You’ll be more than ready for prime time.

Use some productivity trading tools

Productivity apps have become ubiquitous. They are all designed to increase productivity at work, at home, between individuals or teams. In fact, you can jeopardize your productivity by spending too much time find out which one you want to use.

However, if you find an app that makes you more focused, organized, and productive, use it. You might find that some come in handy for everything from working out to cutting down the honey-do list at home. If you use productivity apps for more than just your job, you can put them to better use.

Using apps and productivity hacks for more than one purpose at once can make you more productive on multiple fronts. For example, kill two birds with one tomato technique you use to focus on tasks. During those five-minute breaks, do a few squats or sit-ups and get your workout done, too.

The fact is, productivity devices don’t work for everyone. But if you haven’t tried any because you think they’re not your thing, you should. Any job is always easier when you use the right tool to get it done.

Increase your productivity

Everyone needs a little help sometimes to keep their resolutions—or to start over. It’s okay to ask for help, stumble a bit, and restart if necessary. Giving up trying to become more productive is the only real failure.

When you focus on your determination to improve, celebrate your victories and don’t beat yourself down over the losses. After all, productivity is work. Even step up a little this year and you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve.

Photo credits: Karolina Grabowska; Pixel; Thanks!

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