The turn of a new year signals the opportunity for a fresh start. Many of us make New Year’s resolutions in an attempt to improve aspects of our lives such as health, romance and social lives. We should also be looking to improve our performance at work.
When you consider that on average we spend more than 99,000 hours of our lives at work, it makes sense to try and enjoy our time in the office. Here are ten New Year’s resolution ideas that could improve workplace happiness and help to make your office more efficient in 2016:
Keep the office clean and tidy
Clutter can play a significant role in how we feel about our workplaces. Studies have found that by having a clean office you can increase productivity by up to 5%.
Messy spaces can leave us feeling anxious, helpless and overwhelmed. When people remain in cluttered environments for prolonged periods, levels of the hormone cortisol remain steady throughout the day which is indicative of chronic stress.
Make it your resolution to clean up your deskspace and implement systems to keep it tidy throughout the year. Limit the amount of paper on your desk by keeping electronic copies instead. Buy a desk tidy to keep printed documents in one place so that you never lose important information under a heap of paper again.
Set realistic goals
Goal setting is a valuable method of measuring success. Having long-term and short-term targets gives you the motivation and vision needed to flourish professionally. It helps you to organize resources and increase confidence in your own ability as you achieve the goals you’ve set.
Only one in 10 of us actually achieve our New Year’s resolutions. Many goals are far too ambitious and are inevitably going to end in disappointment. Make New Year’s resolutions that will be achievable. By setting sharp, defined goals, you’ll see progress in what might otherwise have seemed an endless grind.
The best way to achieve goals is to set milestones. Goals that take longer to achieve can sap your enthusiasm. By having smaller milestones to aim for will help to prevent the stagnation of a particular goal.
Become a better time manager
Time is an invaluable asset to any business and should be spent wisely. A productive employee is one who can effectively manage their time to regularly meet deadlines. Learning where and where not to expend energy has many benefits including decreased stress levels and improved production.
Good time management skills involves prioritising and organising the day around the most important tasks. To effectively prioritise tasks, workload should be arranged based on both the importance and the resulting impact of completing tasks.
The first step to better time management is to limit procrastination. Social media, checking texts and non-work related conversations should be limited to breaks throughout the day.
You should also set yourself deadlines and avoid multi-tasking. Tackling more than one task at a time hampers productivity and should be avoided. However studies have found that the brain’s attentional resources drop after the prolonged focussing on a single task, so it is just as important to allow yourself regular breaks from work.
Make your office lifestyle healthier
Vowing to do more exercise and eating more healthily are the two most most common New Year’s resolutions. With millions of people hoping to reap the health benefits of the two, having a nutritious diet and exercising more can also boost productivity at work.
As deadlines accumulate and stress levels rise, it is easy for employees to indulge in some food therapy. Making a run to the local fast food outlet for lunch might be convenient, but those extra calories are costly for both your bank balance and your health.
Make it your resolution to pack your own lunch for work. Swap crisps and biscuits for nuts, fruits and seeds. Blueberries are a particularly good option for enhancing productivity as they have been proven to improve cognitive ability by 11%.
Exercising can also boost work performance. Blood flow to the brain is increased during exercise which can help to sharpen your awareness and make you more ready to tackle projects. Exercise can also enhance energy levels. If you don’t have time to put in a full workout each day, make small lifestyle changes such as walking during your lunch period.
Promote your business more regularly
In a sea of deadlines and urgent tasks, promoting your business can slip to the bottom of your to-do list. Promotion should be a priority if you want to attract new customers. Make it a New Year’s resolution to take the time to create a marketing plan and follow it through.
Marketing your business doesn’t necessarily require spending a lot of money. In a digitalised world social media is one of the most effective and cheapest tools for marketing. Create business platforms on the major social networking websites with links to your website. Look for groups or conversations that talk about your type of service and participate in the conversations. Increased engagement means increased awareness of your service.