If your productivity has plummeted in the past two years, you’re in good company. According to bbc.com, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a detrimental effect on our ability to focus and get work done. But a new year is a great opportunity for a fresh start! So let’s look at 5 ways you can bounce back and increase your productivity in 2022.
Find Out What Motivates You
If you want to get more done, start by asking yourself what type of motivation you run on. What is your “why”? What gets you out of bed in the morning, fires you up, and keeps you going? Are you intrinsically or extrinsically motivated? If you’re dragging your feet to accomplish tasks, perhaps you’ve been “grinding your gears without any grease” and need to tap into what motivates you. This is one of the best ways to increase your productivity in the new year.
Use Tools to Help You
Being productive is hard work and sometimes our brain would much rather do other things instead of buckling down and getting some things done. If you’re having trouble staying focused or accomplishing tasks, you might consider using focus aids such as focusmate.com or apps designed to help you focus. Additionally, ensuring you’re getting adequate sleep at night and eating healthily can also give your productivity a much-needed boost.
Turn Off Distractions
In this day and age, there’s no shortage of distractions, and most of them come from our phones. Social media, notifications, text messages, phone calls–if your phone isn’t chiming, you’re checking it every 10 minutes. The problem with this is, every time you get interrupted (or interrupt yourself!) you have to mentally backtrack. This results in the task taking longer than it would have if you had simply stayed on-task!
If you want to stop self-sabotaging your productivity, try these tips to minimize distractions:
- Put your phone on vibrate, silent, or airplane mode.
- Opt out of social media notifications.
- Limit phone use in the evening hours (when self-control may be lowest).
- Leave your phone in a different room whenever you need to deeply focus.
- Do deep focus work during your “biological primetime.”
Studies have shown that making lists and writing down your goals could also make you more productive. Forbes contributor Mark Murphy says, “Vividly describing your goals in written form is strongly associated with goal success, and people who very vividly describe or picture their goals are anywhere from 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to successfully accomplish their goals than people who don’t.”
Everyone’s brain has a peak capacity, so if you notice certain functions suffering or things falling through the cracks, it could actually be a sign that you’re carrying too “wide” a load. When our brains are too full, focus and productivity are the first things to go.
If you want to lighten your brain load, start by addressing anxiety, one of the most common culprits of brain strain. Sometimes we try to scold our brains into submission when we forget something, get stressed, lack the motivation to do something. In actuality, this is fruitless, as your brain is simply doing what it was designed to do: “shut down” or shed things as it goes in order to continue functioning. So whatever you do, don’t beat yourself up. Try showing compassion to your brain instead, and incorporate some stress relief into your daily routine.