With Mariah Carey’s desperate calls for hot tea fading into the crisp Times Square air, 2017 has officially come to a close. With the new year comes new possibilities, new goals, and new ways to approach life.
Look, we all know that “New year new me” is basically just the original “YOLO,” but there is still some truth to the cliche. However, unless you actively make changes and improve yourself, you are likely to continue down the same path you’ve always been on.
As you work on yourself and progress towards the new you, make sure to take into account the people you lead and the employees who report to you. There’s nothing quite as rewarding as contributing to the environment around you by working on yourself.
So, how can you make your workplace more productive? It all starts with the decisions that you make as a leader.
Below are 5 hacks that we’ve developed to increase your productivity in 2018. Together, let’s make 2018 the best year yet.
Hack #1 – Move On
As Kylo Ren said, “Let the past die. Kill it if you have to.”
Although we all know Kylo can be a bit melodramatic, with this line, we think he has a point. If you want to change your workplace in 2018, you’re going to need to allow yourself to move on from the successes and, more importantly, the mistakes of 2017.
Take a moment and review all your policies and decisions from the past year, and eliminate any of the decisions that you feel didn’t work or work against who you’re trying to become in the workplace. There’s nothing embarrassing about owning your mistakes and changing course. The new year is the perfect time for this growth.
Hack #2 – Set Goals
Resolutions are so 2017. In 2018, it’s time to set some actual goals.
What is the difference between a goal and a resolution? Resolutions are telling yourself you’re going to focus more on work and productivity as you play the new Vince Staples album for the seventh time. Goals are setting up accountability, researching how to stay distraction-free and writing down what your daily plan to reach that goal will be.
Once you’ve eliminated your baggage from 2017 (see hack #1), sit down and write out what your tangible goals are for 2018. Do you want to see growth in your bottom line? Write that down. And, don’t stop there. Write down exactly how much growth you want to see, when you want to see it by and what ten steps it will take to get to that growth. Setting actionable steps with tangible metrics separates a goal from a resolution.
Hack #3 – Play Well With Others
As my old coach used to say, “There is no ‘I’ in team, but there’s a lot of them in ‘massive instability caused by irrational insecurity.’”
Even if you didn’t have a coach to conveniently say things that may or may not apply to the article you’re writing, you probably get my point. Working together is the best way to reach your goals, whether the goals are personal or professional.
If your goal is selling two times the product that you did in 2017, odds are that reaching out to a marketer could help increase sales. If you want to improve team chemistry, listening to your team and bringing them in for a collaborative effort is definitely a great way forward.
No matter what your goals are, odds are that teamwork will bring them about faster. Not only that, but laying down your ego and rituals may just help you gain a new perspective for the new year.
Hack #4 – Start With Yourself
As the King of Pop once said, “I’m starting with the man in the mirror.”
If you want to change your workplace, you need to start with yourself. As obvious as it seems, it is important to remember that teams are made up of individuals, and individuals are really great at sensing when things don’t add up.
If you’re telling your team to increase productivity but are still showing up hours late, odds are your employees won’t respond well. Instead, set the example by leading your team into whatever goals you may have for the new year. Not only will this increase productivity, it will lead to a new level of trust and respect as your team sees that you are leading by example.
Don’t have anyone reporting to you in your current role? You can still set an example for your coworkers, employees and even customers by taking charge of your life and improving your daily practices. Not only will it encourage those around you, it’s sure to help you achieve a variety of goals in the coming months and years.
Hack #5 – Get Started
Look, enough reading, it’s time to get started.
Close your computer, turn off your phone and break out your pen and paper. The best way to achieve your goals is to actually start on them.
You can do this.
2018, here we come.