Get cracking now for a productive 2017

Tips for setting yourself up for a productive 2017.

Kelly Maguire, Spotcap Australia’s PR and Communications Manager, shares her advice for setting yourself up for a productive 2017.

Happy new year! Along with the team at Spotcap, I hope you’ve had a good break and you’re feeling refreshed.

Over the holiday period, I had a number of conversations with friends about new year’s resolutions and business goals for the year ahead. Nearly everyone I spoke to told me they wanted to have a better work/life balance – but also get more done. So how do we make our lives more productive? In a nutshell, good habits and goals are my top tips…

Get in the habit – only good habits allowed!

Most of us don’t consciously create habits, and yet they are what influence our actions and thoughts. Having positive habits greatly affects how productive we are.  

Start the year as you mean to go on, by creating these three positive habits that enable and encourage productivity.

Exercise first thing. Before you even think about checking emails or your Facebook feed, start the day with some exercise. Even if it’s just ten minutes of stretching, make exercise your priority for the day and do it daily… I promise that this is a productivity game-changer.

Schedule everything. Start and finish your day with scheduling your meetings, email and admin time, and your time to work on the big stuff. I use my calendar to schedule my entire day – including travel time and time out.

If you haven’t set aside time in your day to work on planning and business development, how do you expect to get things done? In Tim Ferris’ book The Four Hour Work Week, he suggests checking emails only twice a day. Sound impossible? Give it a go and see if you can make checking your emails at 10am and 4pm your new productive habit.

Switch off. At the end of the day, it’s time to turn off your devices or at least switch them to night mode. If you’re glued to your phone, tablet and laptop like I can be, then you need to get in the habit of leaving them in another room when you go to bed. Arianna Huffington, Founder and CEO of the Huffington Post, is an authority on the value of sleep. Arianna recommends make your bedroom an electronic device free-zone. And if you think you need your phone to wake you up, buy a $10 alarm clock instead.

Set your goals

If you’ve already set your goals or you’re thinking about it, you’re part of the 20 percent of the population who do. The other 80 percent don’t even think about it and only one percent of people actually refer back to their goals throughout the year. I will assume you’re in that one percent, so here are some helpful questions to help with setting your business goals for the year ahead:

  • What gross revenue figure did you achieve? What kind of growth rate was that above the year before?
  • What is the annual projected revenue new clients will generate for your business?
  • How many customers did you serve last year?
  • How many employees do you now have? How many more than the previous year?
  • What is the anticipated annual sales value of your products / services?
  • What percent profitability did you hit? Was that higher than last year?
  • How many social media followers do you have now versus last year?
  • What’s the size of your email database and how much did it grow last year?

Once you’ve set your business goals, print them out and make sure they’re visible in your work space. I keep my personal goals on the fridge door – it’s a good little reminder that I may not need to open the door… again!

So you may ask, what’s the trick to sticking with these good habits beyond January? The trick is not to break them. It’s as simple as that. Create the good habits, write down your goals and stick to them.

Here’s to a productive 2017!

Contact Spotcap to find out how finance can help you achieve your business goals.