New Year's Resolutions: Learning How to Shake Up Your Routine

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The New Year is a great time to change your habits and shake up your routine. If you’d like to boost your productivity in January, now’s the moment to learn how to optimise your time and work more efficiently. Keep reading for some of the best New Year’s resolutions for business owners.

Sometimes, we all need to get out of a rut and inject fresh energy into our daily routine. Working inefficiently can cause serious damage to a business over time, but there are many ways to take back control… 

Tips to shake up your routine

Here are some of the best pieces of advice on how to be more productive, as well as some quotes from notable self-help books. 

1. Get up early

Waking up an hour or two earlier than you usually would gives you a chance to get some of your work done before everyone else even gets out of bed. You’ll have a big sense of accomplishment, which should help you power through the rest of your work day. If you’re a self-confessed ‘night owl’, the other tips in this list should help you boost your productivity in the early hours. 

Let today be the day you give up who you've been for who you can become.
―Hal Elrod, The Miracle Morning

2. Don’t look at your phone until later

Some experts suggest engaging with our phones first thing in the morning can set us up for failure from the get-go. Our brains can become accustomed to the dopamine generated through using devices and crave distraction throughout the day. 

3. Recite affirmations

To some, affirmations are life-changing; to others, they’re initially unappealing. But repeating positive messages to yourself can alter your mindset and, in turn, bring about real changes in your life. Rather than dreading the day ahead and letting yourself feel overwhelmed by your to-do list, tell yourself you’ve got it all under control. 

Less mental clutter means more mental resources available for deep thinking.
―Cal Newport, Deep Work

4. Focus on important decisions

Some say the human brain can only make a limited number of sensible decisions each day. Choosing to simplify your life and ‘not sweat the small stuff’ can be helpful when you’re trying to shake up your routine. Plan your outfits, breakfasts and lunches the night before so you can focus on the important issues when you wake up. 

The number one cause of unfulfilled potential is never deciding that now matters more than any other time in your life.
―Hal Elrod, The Miracle Morning

5. Get your priorities right

Rather than trying to do all your jobs as quickly as possible, concentrate on completing the most important tasks to a high standard. If you can, delegate simple or repetitive chores to other staff members. 

Ideally, aim to write and organise the following day’s to-do list the night before, so you can get cracking quickly in the morning. 

Focus on being productive instead of busy.
―Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek

6. Work on difficult tasks first

You’ve probably heard of the phrase ‘eat the frog’; it’s a common piece of advice for those learning how to be more productive. By tackling your most difficult task (or ‘the frog’) first thing, you won’t dread it for the rest of the day. If possible, avoid checking emails or your phone until after you’ve ‘eaten the frog’, as it’ll help you finish the job quickly. 

Your goal is not to stick to a given schedule at all costs; it’s instead to maintain, at all times, a thoughtful say in what you’re doing with your time going forward.
― Cal Newport, Deep Work

7. Take breaks

No one can maintain high levels of focus for hours at a time. Some researchers say we can maximise our efficiency by working for around an hour before taking a 10-minute break to stretch our legs. 

There is a virtue in work, and there is a virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.
—Alan Cohen

8. Set the timer

When faced with the pressure to finish a task in a set amount of time, many people manage to work more productively. Split your day into chunks of 30, 45 or 60 minutes, and don’t allow yourself to continue with a task once the time is up. You may be able to get more done. 

Hard work pays off in the future but requires discomfort now. Laziness pays off now but guarantees discomfort in the future.
―Hal Elrod, The Miracle Morning

9. Take advantage of technology 

These days, there are plenty of tools to help us supercharge our productivity. They can block our access to distracting sites, track and organise our activities and help us manage our workflow. Finding and using the most helpful technologies and software packages for you can make a big difference. 

By working only when you are most effective, life is both more productive and more enjoyable.
―Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek 

10. Read

Reading can help to reduce stress levels and improve brain function. By putting down your phone or tv remote and picking up a book in your spare time, you can boost your performance at work. Plus, if your reading material is informative, you can expand your knowledge to help grow your business. 

Information is useless if it is not applied to something important or if you will forget it before you have a chance to apply it.
―Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek

11. Exercise 

No list of New Year's resolutions for business owners or individuals would be complete without a mention of exercise. Getting your heart pumping and breathing in fresh air will help you return to your work with renewed energy. Aim to do at least two and a half hours of cardiovascular exercise per week. 

12. Allow time for a mental reset

Don’t neglect your mental wellbeing as a business owner. Although you might think you’ll fall behind if you refuse to check your emails during the evening, becoming emotionally drained will be detrimental to work in the long run. 

Trying to squeeze a little more work out of your evenings might reduce your effectiveness the next day enough that you end up getting less done than if you had instead respected a shutdown.
―Cal Newport, Deep Work

13. Enjoy rewards

Take the time to recognise your hard work and give yourself a pat on the back. Celebrating milestones will not only improve your mood and morale, it will also give you a fresh burst of motivation to pursue your next goals. 

More helpful business guides

You can find a wide range of informative articles covering every aspect of the business world right here at Point Franchise. Alternatively, view the franchises currently searching for new franchisees by using the menu to browse by sector, region or investment cost.

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