1. Track your progress and success
While setting clear goals is the cornerstone of good planning, it can quickly turn into a futile exercise if you’re not tracking progress towards achieving them. Productivity tools which facilitate the management of individual and team progress are a simple way to visualise and manage workplans across streams. Some of our favourites include Trello, and Evernote, the list-based prioritisation tool. However, there is still a place for desk / wall planners and Kanban walls utilising sticky notes which enable teams and individuals to tangibly identify, set and celebrate milestones, on their way to achieving a larger objective.
2. Reward yourself for those small wins
Once incremental milestones have been set towards a goal, it is important to celebrate meeting them. Recognise these wins and take the time to reward yourself and your team along the journey – not just at the destination. This will help maintain motivation and identify positive actions, cementing best practice for future projects.
3. Keep an eye on the latest trends in your area of business
It is easy to get comfortable with the information you already know, but social trends, business trends and technologies are changing and evolving at such a rapid rate that without taking a proactive approach to understanding the evolving landscape, your skills and knowledge can quickly become outdated. Online training tools and self-development programs such as LinkedIn Learning and Coursera are increasingly becoming the go-to for personal and professional growth.
4. Eat well
If this wasn’t on your list of things to do in 2019, add it to your list in 2020 and prepare to experience improved rest and concentration! Don’t overestimate the importance of healthy eating. Try to eat out less often and plan your meals – packing your lunch for work is a great way to commit to the cause. Feeling peckish? Try snacking on a wide range of nuts, which are a far healthier substitute to chips, biscuits or cakes, and loaded with nutrients such as vitamin E, potassium and magnesium.
5. Learn to “disconnect”
Technology has certainly made our lives a lot more efficient, but with smartphones and increasingly flexible work hours, there’s also the pressure to always stay “connected”. This year make sure you block out some time for yourself during the day, even if it’s only 15 minutes to spend time with your thoughts and ideas. Keep a comprehensive record of your ideas in a notebook because these may soon create the most productive 15 minutes in your workday.
6. Limit distractions
Smartphones also bring with them a host of addictive distractions that can quickly drain your productivity at work. It’s important to limit your non-work screen time, and there are now multiple apps which can help you reduce such distractions. A tip from our team, is to block short periods of time to get specific tasks done. This focused approach is a great way to progress at pace and can even be very effective in groups.
7. Prioritise tasks and eat that frog!
Mark Twain famously said, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” And how right he was! Avoid the urge to procrastinate on a task that you dislike. Whenever possible, identify the piece of work that you find the most challenging or tedious and do it first thing in the morning when your mind is fresh. Try breaking it down into bite-sized tasks on sticky notes and pasting posting them on your screen to bring you back to the task at hand. Peel them off until you’ve eaten that frog!
8. Make more environmentally conscious choices
Start making environmentally friendly life choices, no matter how small they may be. Ditch that takeaway cup for your morning coffee and invest in a keep cup. Take care to separate your trash and recycle as much as possible and try to trade your everyday items for recycled products or products with a lower carbon footprint.
9. Develop a stronger relationship with your team through effective communication
Businesses are investing heavily in cloud communication platforms for teams to be able to work cohesively. However, most teams across organisations have only begun to scratch the surface of the functionality offered by these tools. Speak to our experts to find out how Winc’s Technology Solutions can seamlessly improve the connectivity and collaboration between your team.
10. Listen earnestly and speak candidly
This year, learn to be open to hearing constructive criticism and feedback as it can be critical to your learning and growth. Be responsive and ask questions to make sure that you are hearing them.
While active listening is important, it’s equally important to articulate your opinion as well. Don’t be afraid to speak up. Good ideas can come from anyone, if communicated effectively.
11. Group small routine tasks together to improve efficiency
Executing smaller or routine tasks together will help you decrease procrastination. Switching back and forth from one task to another creates confusion and distractions. Write a to-do list and set your priorities straight. Maintain a day planner to ensure you’ve listed similar tasks together so that you don’t miss them and tick them off all in one go.
12.Take control of your schedule
While meetings can be a highly efficient way for teams to organise thoughts and ideas, they can also tend to be a major drain on your schedule and productivity. Determine your non-negotiable tasks for the day and block time in your calendar accordingly.
13. Break out of your functional silo
Be open to new opportunities that may otherwise not be part of your remit. Cross-functional knowledge and skills are critical to long-term professional growth. Try saying yes or volunteering next time there’s a chance to help beyond your day-to-day. There’s a great feel-good factor in this too!
14. Network more
It is important to build connections and mutually-beneficial relationships both inside and outside of your organisation. Attend conferences and industry events not only to stay updated on the latest trends, but also expand and strengthen your professional network. If appropriate, be bold and share an interesting and relevant article with your new peers on LinkedIn.
15. Seize more opportunities with greater impact
You should work not for the role you have but the role you want. That will happen when you open yourself up to taking on responsibilities that have greater impact and higher value for the business. Don’t be afraid to put your hand up for bigger responsibilities or seek guidance from your manager to identify what activities are best.
16. Take care of your health
We already covered the importance of eating healthy, but it is equally important to stay active and fit even when you’re at work. Make sure you maintain good posture and take periodic break to stand and walk around. If you’re a manager, invest in solutions such as monitor risers and sit/stand desks for your employees’ wellbeing. If you don’t have an office gym, you could consider ‘walking WIPs’, organising group exercise or wellbeing initiatives for your employees.
17. Play to your strengths
Too often we end up obsessively focusing on our weaknesses inevitably to our own detriment. Focus on what you do well and try to do it even better. If in doubt, there are multiple online strengths assessment tools such as the Clifton Strengths Finder Assessment or even Myers-Briggs Personality Test, that you can use to better understand, analyse and maximise your potential.
18. Clean out your desk and inbox every month
A messy desk equals a messy mind. Take time every month to organise your desktop as well as the drawers in your desk. There are a host of desk organisation products you can trial to see what works best for you and helps you maintain a tidy workspace. Remember to keep anti-bacterial wipes handy to keep your workspace clean and hygienic.
19. Believe in yourself
You are and must be your biggest champion. Maintain a positivity journal where you can keep a record of every positive comment anyone makes to you. Ask your friends, family, close colleagues and mentors about what they think you do best and keep the responses for those personal pep talk moments. Finally, failures are not only inevitable they are important, don’t let them bring you down – they are after all, temporary. Learn from failures and try to embrace them as an opportunity for growth and future successes.
20. Donate your time towards worthy causes
Take the time to identify a cause you believe in, are passionate about or relate to. Your generosity, whether it be time, goods, skills or donations does make a difference! If time is on your side, consider reaching out to the organisation to understand how you might be able to help.
At Winc, we know the value of giving back and make sure that as a company, we make a positive impact on the world around us too.
The current bushfire crisis is a terrible tragedy. We, like everyone, want to help. Winc Disaster Relief will actively support bushfire affected communities with the goods they need now, in bulk and free of charge.
For anyone looking to assist with bushfire relief directly, please click here. Our thoughts remain with our brave firefighters and volunteers and those so deeply affected.