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How to be More Productive in 2021: a 5-Step Guide

Did 2020 leave you feeling a bit, well, distracted. Who wasn't? 2021 is the year to make real progress toward your goals and thrive. Here are 5 steps to help you get there.

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Improve Productivity - Closeup Landing Page in Doodle Design Style on Laptop Screen. On Background of Comfortable Working Place in Modern Office. Toned, Blurred Image. 3D Render.

Did you know that an estimated 42 percent of United States labor force is working full-time from home?

That means that it’s more important than ever to consciously work on our productivity.

Everyone needs to start fresh in 2021, and we should all have hope that things will improve. 

Yes, COVID-19 is still here, but it will get better. And until it does, one thing we can control is our actions and habits. It’s the perfect time to work on increasing our productivity.

If you are looking for tips on how to be more productive in 2021, read on for a 5-step guide to get you on track.

1. Freshen Up Your Home Office

The reality is that many people are still working from home, and that’s probably not going to change anytime soon. If you’ve been working from your couch with a coffee table as your desk, now is the time for drastic change.

If you want to know how to increase productivity, the best place to start is creating a dedicated clean, and organized space to work. This step alone will increase productivity by leaps and bounds. 

As essential as a home office is, many of us don’t have extra money to invest in a fancy home office right now. Creating a budget home office is simpler than you think. Here are some ideas for creating a productive work-from-home office

  • Fill your space with plants. Plants are affordable, can remove toxins from our air, and make rooms feel light and airy. 
  • Look for free office furniture from your neighbors. If you’ve never heard of the Buy Nothing Project, your life is about to change. The Buy Nothing Project began as an experiment to see if people could get their needs met using a gift economy. It’s now spread to over 30 countries, including the United States. Members in local groups post items that they don’t need, and if someone could use it they respond to the post. There is no cost involved; if the person who posted the item chooses you, it’s given as a gift. 
  •  Invest in an organization system. Get that clutter off the desk. Ikea has tons of great organizational office items, like their infamous pegboard. 

Once you have a dedicated workspace, you will gain much more clarity in your mind.

2. How to Be More Productive: Reduce Stress with Mindfulness 

Now that you have decluttered your physical space, you need to declutter your mind. There are many reasons to be stressed out, for one, the global pandemic we’ve all been experiencing for months. But when we can train our minds to focus on the present, we can concentrate on our work. 

Mindfulness is being present and aware of our current surroundings. Take a break during the day to meditate. If you’ve never practiced mindfulness, try out the many available apps, like the popular and free Insight Timer

3. Choose an Area of Improvement and Develop a Written Goal 

Now that you have a clean space and a clear mind, it’s time to focus on goals and strategizing for the coming year.

Is there something that you didn’t get a chance to complete last year? Did you fall short on employee engagement because of COVID-19? Or do you know that you need to work on a content marketing strategy to help your business grow without advertising? 

Choose one area of focus and write down your goals. The key takeaway point here is writing down your goals and strategies. It needs to be written down on actual paper or typed up for it to be effective. 

Write down a mission statement, your target audience, and priorities. This information shouldn’t all be in your head. Take the time to write down these critical details, as they will drive your strategy and action plan. 

Research has shown that you’re 42% more likely to achieve a goal if you write it down regularly. 

4. Reflect and Self-Evaluate

At the end of the workday, reflect on everything you have accomplished. List everything that you have gotten done. You may realize that you have accomplished much more than you thought you did. At the end of the week, the impact will be even more significant.

Journaling and engaging in self-reflection is another useful daily habit to embrace. You can work through your thoughts on your day and find clarity. Do you feel like you accomplished a lot today? What are you grateful for? 

5. Make Sure to Schedule Breaks 

Whether you’re working from home or at the office, you need to give yourself breaks. Your brain needs it. It’s best to schedule breaks to ensure that you actually take a break and don’t take too long and lose your motivation. 

Schedule a lunch break, an afternoon coffee break, or a short meditation or workout break. Some employers even offer employee incentives like exercise breaks, so take advantage of them. Taking some time to get up and move around can re-energize you to take on the rest of your day with a vengeance. 

2021: Most Productive Year Ever

This step-by-step guide gives you everything you need to know about how to be more productive. But the one thing it can’t do for you is implement it. 

It doesn’t take long to build lasting, healthy habits. If you follow this guide and create a designated office space, work on mindfulness, focus on your goals, and give yourself breaks, you will increase productivity.

All you need to do is take the step to get started. Why wait? Get started today and make 2021 the most productive year ever.

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