Whats on your 2022 productivity plan?

 

 

 

“You are not trying to be productive to do even more of the same thing with the spare time.It is to buy yourself Time to do what enriches your core” Mary Z

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whats The Problem With New Year , New Me?

Whether you traditionally write new years resolutions or not, we cant deny that at the beginning of the year, there is a degree of nuance to either us , what we do , how we do things or all of these. Whether you are a student who’s just received your results, or a business , or any individual managing their life. So…… is there a problem with the new year, new me?

The term might be overused, but essentially i think at the core, The new year mark is an event that forces people to take stock of life and be intentional about the next step. Think of it as the start of your own financial year.The business is still carrying on as usual, but you are at this point looking at its financial soundness for the last year and things you can tweak to get a more productive this year. 

So Where Does The Problem come In?

Do you find yourself getting fired up at the beginning of the year with what you want to achieve and then lose steam as the year goes? around June maybe?No? March ?…am not judging so lets swiftly move on….

Some times, when you get to June, you don’t even remember what goals you set at the beginning of the year. And then the following year you just tell yourself that it’s all unnecessary and you come up with a grandiose excuse like “life is continuing and thats the most important thing’?  Yes, your gratitude to life is important but, usually , this happens when there is lack of details in the goals or plans and therefore direction is lost.

So How Can You Be More Productive

1-  Your What and Why’s- Clearly Write down or have in Your your Mind Where you want to get to

This is in comparison with where you are now. Think of it terms of, who you want to become. A goal like Getting a degree is not as motivating as what you want to do with that degree. Does life change ? yes, but once you define who you want become, if macro eco economic and let’s face it, heavenly factors derail you from getting the degree, a clear definition of who you want to become will help you pick new strategies for the same goal.

Example 1 The Business Person– I remember a few years ago listening to a business podcast , and someone said Capita CEO described themselves as an outsourcing business. You know what that did? it removed the limitations on them operating as a recruitment agency (thats what i knew them for). they outsourced cleaning services etc. 

Example 2 The Student –  Are you just trying to get the work done or are you aiming for a 1st or 2:1? Most students now, work while studying. Look at all your modules and assignments at the very start of term. when is deadline? what is the credit value of each module? You will find that most similar modules ( under the same school of thought) will require related research.So do those at the same time.You can prepare proposals or research methodology in one batch. Take particular note of credit . You don’t want to spend 80% of your time on a none credit bearing module while higher credit one has 20% of your time.

Example 3 – I watched an interview of Bishop TD Jakes where someone asked him how he manages to do so many things like preaching, TV, Film , Books etc. His answer was he does one thing – communication. So preaching, TV, Film , Books are the ‘What’. Communication is his why?

Are you starting to relate this to yours?

2- The HOW?

2a-PLAN SMART

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SMART goals are goals that are Specific ;Measurable; Achievable ;Realistic Time. So what does working smart look like? It’s writing down attainable and measurable goals. If you say “i want to get a promotion this year” , it’s not the same as ” i want to be promoted to manager in the next 6 months”. with the latter, you have a specific role and a time in mind. It’s measurable and specific This will make you track what you are doing each week or month to see if you making progress. Remember that is one event that has several steps towards it.

 

Write your smart goals to granular level.

Some steps in example above would be something as simple as improving interpersonal skills to prepare for the role.So you can ask your manager if they would like you to  set up a meeting for them if they are busy. So what is this gesture doing? It’s opening up a conversation with them. You can get a glimpse of the agenda which gives you a chance to ask questions. The manager might ask you to attend and take notes. What will you be learning there? You will learn how ideas are presented, some company operations that might be above your pay grade and therefore help you prepare for the promotion interview.

Tony Robbins’ post here ,  has more practical steps you can take to achieve SMART goals .

Now going back your goal in the above example. You can start working on developing a technical skill if it was discussed in the meeting. You are feeding your brain and mind with the technical skills you need as a manager as well as you are also networking.

                                       

 

 2b- ORGANISE YOUR DAYS in Small doses.

 

 

 

 

This starts from the time you wake up to sleeping time.  Aim to take steps that remove clutter from your mind at bed time. It’s then best not to consume online content or fire back emails at bed time. Too many brain tabs open are not good for anyone. Instead, why not create a to do list for the next day and leave it there? 

I use Microsoft Onenote for my to do list. You should make this granular by time allocation for accountability. Sometimes use just a paper, if in bed. 

What i have learned is that even when writing a To- do- list that is too general, the effort becomes ‘general’ as well,  because of the lack of detail. It therefore becomes overwhelming and you’d rather wash dishes that are already clean than do the task (i may have done this).

Then do something that helps you wind down , get clarity and centred in your mind. I read the bible and i pray, because i am acutely aware that even my plans, as detailed as they maybe, i have to ensure am driven by what i am made for not just what am paid for.

You are then on track to having a productive next day because your mind is not wondering so much and struggling to to be quite enough for you to sleep.

A research study on connection between sleep and productivity supports this point .(-Eide, E. R., & Showalter, M. H. (2012). Sleep and Student Achievement. Eastern Economic Journal, 38(4), 512–524. http://www.jstor.org/stable/23271228

Rosekind et al.’ s journal on The Cost of Poor Sleep: Workplace Productivity Loss and Associated Costs , concludes lack of sleep affects productivity too. Rosekind, M. R., Gregory, K. B., Mallis, M. M., Brandt, S. L., Seal, B., & Lerner, D. (2010). The Cost of Poor Sleep: Workplace Productivity Loss and Associated Costs. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 52(1), 91–98.-http://www.jstor.org/stable/44998613

I have experienced this first hand when i was working and studying. i was mostly moving on adrenaline and not organised with my time.   The greatest and most important part of this change process is the mind. once you remove clatter from the mind by doing things , not reading/watching new information before going to bed (maybe an hour) and start with activities that centre you mind and spirit in the morning like prayer. you are half way into having a productive day. if you can, don’t have your phone in the bedroom when you go to bed.Or if you need it for alarm, then put it on airplane mode.

Time Blocking- Once you start the to do list in the morning, i suggest working the first 1 hour with no break. This helps keep your attention and really getting in work mode with no distractions.Its easier to get back to it after that.

 

2c.  Small Productivity Habits for Your  body and Mind.

Am excited about this one. We all know that there are some food and lifestyle habits can make you feel too tired to work or study successfully.  there are extensive studies that show exercise help your mood as well. Speaking of foods, there are some foods that i always feel like lying down for a nap after i eat. I am not a nutritionist so articles like this one by Dale Pinnock will help you get a professional’s view. I just know what i have experienced, without having the professional language for it in this area.

I took a complete turn around in my diet 2 years ago from eating a very (meat heavy, corn flour heavy diet), to plant base overnight. sticking to the ‘why’ above, at the time i had a reason that pushed me.

But inline with the productivity topic, the one thing i noticed was 1- Some foods i ate, significantly reduced my general fatigue and  feeling sluggish after meals; quicker digestion and i very clearly noticed physical change was it was easier to just get up and go run. I had clear skin from the breakfast  smoothies i started having.  I can answer questions about what i eat if you message me, because i would like us to just focus on productivity in this post.

The Head and The Gut

Dr Rupal (an NHS GP) has a book on Food as medicine. He mentions in his introduction (which i also picked up from his podcasts, the effect of foods on brain and gut. You can find his book here. I have listened to a lot of his podcasts too. His content helped me in my transition 2 years ago when i switched overnight from eating meat/fish etc every meal to complete plant base. 

When your meal is just quinoa,black beans or broccoli most of the time, its hard to feel sluggish post meal. 

 

Here is Doctor Rupy’s Book

Conclusion

I can not stress enough the importance of having a productivity plan. Even if you are not spinning multiple plates. It is beyond the reality of having spreadsheets and google calendars. It is a way of showing up for the ‘what’ and ‘whys’ of what you are doing. Your mind and body need to get with the program too. And the first things that you allow in your mind should be something that sets the tone of your day. 

Small changes towards productivity will lead to big changes. So in this announcement culture, don’t get discouraged , every time you are  on social media and see people who are announcing their wins on the goal you are aiming for. I hope you don’t get overwhelmed .I hope you don’t  quit.

Whats on your 2022 productivity plan?

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