Productivity Tips Anyone Can Do

Productivity has been a moving target recently. Take the easy wins to re-set your New Year. Here are four productivity tips anyone can do.

  • Clear off your desk for the New Year. You get credit if you do it anytime during January, but this first week is an especially great time to see your desk again. Whether your “desk” is your bed, your dining room table, your coffee table, or an actual desk, start the year with everything filed and trash tossed. Maybe it becomes a habit, but even if it doesn’t, having a clean slate at least once a year can settle your brain, quiet all those voices that say you’ve got too much going on, and give you a fresh start to an amazing New Year. If you can’t quite get everything filed or stored, at least move all the paper and wipe down your desk surface. Just this much spiffing can give you a new perspective.


Was that too easy for you? Here are three more.


Productivity Tips Anyone Can Do



Productivity Tips Anyone Can Do

1. Hack at least one routine in your life. Ask your friends how they do things. Maybe you learn to skip a step in your laundry routine. Maybe you unsubscribe from email lists instead of deleting or ignoring those unread emails. Maybe you learn a new way to use a timer. Maybe you learn to embrace organizing in 15-minute chunks, like we do in the free SORT and Succeed organizing mini course. ProTip: Type “15 minute timer” into any browser, and a timer starts immediately. Continue working in another tab until you hear the “beep-beep-beep”. Easiest. Timer. Ever.

2. Stop obsessing over your email box. Instead of worrying about how many total emails you have, filter and focus only on the number of UNREAD emails. If you’ve read it, then you get credit for keeping your inbox “clean.” ProTip: This means to-do items have to go on your to-do list. No more marking emails as unread, hoping to come back to them “someday.” You know that doesn’t work.

3. Start “favoriting” or “hearting” your recent best photos on your phone. In Apple Photos, click the “heart” on the iPhone or on your Mac for any photo that makes you smile. That’s it! If it makes you smile, it gets a heart. (On Android, or on photos you import into your computer, just add 1 star or a colored flag.) ProTip: Next week, next month, next year, you’ll have a much easier time finding those great photos, without all the work from having to organize and delete the whole collection.

I took this photo of a tree decorated with paper lanterns at Hershey Park this winter, but I think it makes a great metaphor for all the bright ideas you’ll have when you are more organized.

Which one of these feel like an important bump to your productivity efforts this year?