Three Easy Things I Am Doing for a Better New Year

We love new years. A new year brings new hope for a new you.

It might just be another day, but to many of us it represents a natural ebb in the flow of time to reflect on our lives and reset things in order to become the people we want to be.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not there yet.

So here are three simple actions, I’ve taken each of the past two years and am planning to do again as I start 2017, to get the most of out the year.

1. ONLINE: Unsubscribe

This is a very simple yet very effective way of boosting productivity at the start of a new year. It’s something I’ve done the past few years and swear by it.

Open your email client and unsubscribe from every newsletter, email notification and news group you belong to.

Yes, all of them. Go on do it. What’s the worst that can happen?

Do you really need to know about every 9% off hotel rooms offer? Will it kill you not to know about the latest competition to win $200 your bank is running?

No, it won’t.

So take some time now and clear out your inbox. You will thank yourself for the rest of the year you did.

2. RELATIONSHIPS: Reconnect

Probably like me, you have hundreds of friends and acquaintances you are connected with, that you simply have no longer have contact with.

I realise we are all busy people. But does this mean there is nothing we can do about this?

I was given pause to reflect on this as I read a Facebook post of a friend who was celebrating an anniversary milestone with his wife. Along with the usual gushing about his wife putting up with him etc., he took time to recognise the friends that were there on the wedding day with them and are still in their lives today.

To me, it showed a genuine appreciation and value for friendships that have lasted the test of time. 

People come and go in our lives, but how much richer is life when we live it with high quality people?

In 2017 I’m going to make time to reconnect with some old friends, even if its a quick text or Facebook message.

3. FUTURE: One Thing Focus

One of the curses of our busy lives is the dilution of our focus that comes from the need to multi-task.

Not convinced? How many browser tabs do you have open now? Or if you’re on your phone, what else are you doing as well as reading this?

Because of this, the impact of our efforts are diluted and instead of achieving more we actually achieve less.

There is a great quote by Jacob Riis that illustrates this:

When nothing seems to help, I go look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before.

Pounding the rock time after time after time – even when it appears that nothing is happening – is often what it takes to get the results over the longer term.

Want to increase your income by 50%? Want to change careers? Want to save a deposit for a house? What is the one thing over all else you want to achieve in 2017? Make that your focus.

I am taking this focus into 2017. I’m writing it down in order to etch it into my mind.

Rather than having a list of resolutions, I am narrowing my focus to just one thing. One goal, one overarching focus, one rock to pound for the year ahead.

What about you?

What are you doing in 2017 to increase productivity and move yourself forward in the pursuit of who you want to become?

(Originally published on LinkedIn – Bruce Chant)

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