The new year is a great time to reassess your accomplishments from the year before, and put pencil to paper (literally or figuratively) on ways to work on improving your life and productivity in the year ahead.
Improving efficiency and general productivity is often one area of focus for many, but contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t have to be a daunting goal. By making even small changes to your work environment, workflow and work-life balance, you will find that this New Year’s resolution needn’t be quite so elusive.
By following even just a few of the ways we have outlined below, you will find yourself well on your way to working more efficiently with the start of the new decade.
1. Organize Your Contact Lists
What better way to tackle existing and new projects than by organizing and updating your contact lists? After all, having to deal with bounce back emails or needing to wade through outdated contact information can be a motivation killer. Allow your future self to thank you by investing time at the outset into updating information of your existing contacts and all together eliminating those that you no longer need.
Also, you might want to explore new approaches to maintaining your contact list(s) to avoid finding yourself in a similar situation in the future. Consider consolidating your contact information, using labels and making notes to better recall individuals!
2. Write Things Down
We weren’t kidding when we said that you’ll want to put pen to paper when thinking about how to work more efficiently in the new year. Making a physical list of your goals is one way that will get you on the right path!
Not only does writing your goals and tasks down solidify a commitment to working towards them when compared to simply making a mental note, but more importantly, crossing things off that list actually leads to greater productivity — and it’s backed by science.
And if you aren’t really a fan of keeping physical lists, dictating your To-Dos could be key for you to keep track of your mental task list. Also, desktop and mobile applications such as Asana and Trello will do the job just as well on your quest to cross off those items.
3. Set Small, Measurable Goals
Studies have shown that when we get something that we want, whether it be a promotion or the achievement of a goal, no matter how small, our brain releases dopamine. Each time the brain senses this rewarding neurotransmitter, it will want you to repeat that associated behavior. So, the more goals you achieve, the more items you can cross off your list and continue feeding your brain positive reinforcements to keep going!
Creating a list of your goals is a definite step in the right direction towards improving your efficiency. However, in order to ensure that these goals can be feasibly attained and thus, crossed off that list, they need to be achievable!
Ambiguous or large-scale goals can be intimidating and leave you with an inability to determine how best to begin working towards them. For example, a goal of “create a new marketing strategy” is vague and doesn’t encompass the many, smaller tasks that must necessarily be undertaken as part of this new marketing strategy. As a result, you’ve laid out a difficult road for yourself before you’ve even begun.
Setting smaller, measurable goals as part of your larger goals will ensure that you aren’t missing any crucial steps and more importantly, that you stay motivated along the way.
4. Streamline Your Workflow
You may find that you have one or many workflows, depending on your job itself, as well as where and with whom you work. The workflow that you employ when collaborating with others may vary significantly from that of the one that you follow when on the go. For that reason, there are different tools that may serve these workflows best.
Considering the needs of those specific workflows requires specific expertise.
The TranscribeMe App allows you to record every presentation, meeting or phone call and turn it into text format. This means you can search and review the content instantly, allowing you to fully focus on participating in your meeting. The TranscribeMe App allows you to record directly from your phone or tablet and upload it to TranscribeMe’s transcription platform. In addition, iPhone users can even upload directly from apps like Dropbox and Voice Memos.
With an easy-to-use interface and the highest-quality audio recording to make sure you get the best quality transcripts, delivered to you in no time, the TranscribeMe App is here for whatever need your workflow requires.
5. Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance
When it comes to working more efficiently, the (not-so) secret to your success is maintaining a healthy work-life balance. This means effective time-management of both professional and personal tasks, so that you have time and space to do the things you love well. Here are some ways to consider doing just that:
- Balancing work with leisure. Take stock of the activities that bring you fulfillment, and take some time to dedicate to those. In a fast-paced work environment, getting a lot done in a day can be incredibly rewarding, especially if you enjoy your job. But it’s also important to make time to do things simply for the sake of your own enjoyment as well.
- Take mini-breaks to build in physical activity. Whether it’s a 5-minute yoga break at your desk, or a quick walk outside to give yourself a change of scenery and a bit of fresh air, building in short breaks of physical activity can work wonders in boosting efficiency.
- Take a mental break and reconnect. Reach out to your team when you need help, or to offer help to others. This might give you a quick mental break from your own headspace, but can also give you a chance to connect with your team, which is always a great motivator.
- Track your time. Keeping yourself on track might be as simple as optimizing your time. Using a timer app to build in intermittent breaks, or even just using speech-to-text capabilities to your advantage could really be a lifesaver when trying to use your time most effectively.
Keeping these important life balancing tools in your back pocket could be the difference between drowning in an unending task list, and your most productive year yet. As you move through the year ahead, don’t forget that TranscribeMe is a key tool to keep you on track and working efficiently.