By now, many individuals have abandoned their lofty New Year's resolutions, for the promise of renewal has reverted back to business as usual. However, all hope may not be lost quite yet. Despite the allure of starting fresh in January, each day serves as its own new beginning, allowing anyone and everyone to reset their perspective and reignite their passion. Thus, as the first month of 2015 quickly comes to an end, we must look no further than tomorrow--literally--in our attempt to boost productivity and reduce stress. (No, I've got an even better idea... Let's start today!)
Here are just five ways to kickstart your momentum and free your mind immediately:
1. Ignore Your Inbox
Because we've grown accustomed to our constant connectivity, many feel they must check their email or social media accounts ad nauseum and respond to each message the moment it appears. But, as one New York Times article highlights, the frequency with which you check could be causing an avoidable amount of stress. Not every little note requires instant attention, and if something urgent arises, the given person will find another way to reach out, so turn off those incessant alerts and focus on your work.
2. Shorten (or Eliminate) Meetings
With wall-to-wall meetings dictating your schedule, it's almost impossible to find time for your own tasks. Thus, CEO.com advises teams to keep meetings short and sweet. Concentrate on the matter at hand and don't digress. This will save time and increase efficiency, for everyone must focus on what's important in that moment. If everyone remains on point, most meetings need not take more than 15 or 30 minutes, so ignore Outlook's one-hour default setting and make every minute count.
3. Declutter Your Desk (and Your Life)
Whether physical or digital, all desktops need cleaning. (Some more often than others, mind you.) Those who find themselves drowning in papers and searching for files must recognize that organization breeds peace of mind. Once everything has found its rightful place, your thoughts and ideas will follow suit. Most clutter acts as an impenetrable fog, subconsciously sabotaging the potential for progress. Clear that away and you'll be left with an increasingly lucid view of the tasks at hand.
4. Stop Taking On Too Many Tasks
Just in case you've forgotten, I'm here to remind you that you are, indeed, one person. That's right. Only one. Perhaps you should stop taking on enough assignments to occupy an army? You may not want to say 'no' to your boss or colleagues, but you mustn't jeopardize your own success and stability just to appease those around you. Help when you can, but admit when you've reached maximum capacity. Ultimately, you won't be of any use if you're burnt out or overworked.
5. Let It Go
While the phrase might trigger visions of one infamous ice queen in your mind, those three little words do hold tremendous power. Above all else, you must acknowledge and accept situations that are out of your control. Though each of these aforementioned tips suggests ways to regain your grasp, peace also comes from knowing when to let go. We can't always be the lead actor or actress in our own lives. Instead, we must assume supporting roles that empower others to achieve their goals.