January 11, 2018

The start of a new year is like a universal pressing of the reset button where we assess what changes/resolutions we’d like to make to improve our lives and careers. Short on ideas? We offer 5 easy resolutions that you can implement today to help make you more creative, productive, and generally more content personally and professionally.

1. Write something every day. If you want to become a better writer, then you need to write a lot. The way to improve that skill is the same way you’d approach any other—with practice. Invest the necessary time and treat it like working out—you’ve got to do it consistently to see great results. It’s not about what you write, but about getting into the habit of writing regularly that’s important.

2. Designate an electronics-free zone. Our bodies are smarter than you might think. They’re trained to respond to light and dark, and to send us important signals, like the time of day. Our brains recognize brightness from phones, computer monitors, and even TVs as external light, which sends the signal that we should be awake. So, ditch the electronics completely before bed. Instead, try reading, journaling or maybe even a few minutes of yoga.

3. Don’t get tool happy. There’s always some sort of new tool, app or platform released that promises to skyrocket your productivity. Some tools can be helpful in keeping you focused and organized. However, if you load up on too many—particularly ones that don’t integrate or work together—you’ll only end up slowing yourself down. Do your best to identify what works best for you and then keep things lean by using only multi-purpose tools that meet your needs.

4. Read more. The most successful people never stop learning. There’s a reason why a large percentage of professional or managerial roles continue their education—it’s one of the best ways to keep up with industry trends, learn from experts, and get the creative juices flowing. One of the best ways to do that outside of a classroom is to read what others are writing about and explore different perspectives—whether they’re of personal or professional interest.

5. Use your vacation time. Taking time off actually makes us more productive. Vacation-aiding productivity echoes the research done on how taking breaks leads to higher productivity. So, do some planning. Review your calendar and figure out when you’ll be the busiest at work. Are there certain weeks when you’ll have a little more time to get ahead? Those are good pre-vacation weeks, allowing you to increase your output before you head out.

Not all New Year’s resolutions involve gyms and special diets. These can help you become a better employee and challenge you to continue learning and improving, no matter where you are in your career.

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