This Week in Productivity – Jan 15, 2016

Welcome to This Week in Productivity, our weekly round-up where we share the best productivity insights from around the web. This week, we’ve found out what you need to do to really motivate your team, how time limits boost your productivity, practical tips to achieve your 2016 goals, why you need to develop rituals instead of habits, and how to increase your energy levels.

To Motivate Employees, Do 3 Things Well
by Emma Seppälä (@emmaseppala)

Key Takeaway: If your employees are either ‘not engaged’ or ‘actively disengaged’, like 70% of the US workforce, research shows that material perks alone won’t solve the problem. More effective drivers for engagement are related to long-term well-being.

Tips and Tricks:
As a leader, you can foster your team’s engagement through:

  1. Inspiration – infuse your work culture with meaning, actively communicating to employees that their work does make a difference: to others, to the company, even to the world.
  2. Kindness – show your team that you care for them as people, not just as employees. Respect and recognition are important in promoting loyalty.
  3. Self-care – create a culture that allows your team to recharge, exercise, or take a break. People that take care of themselves tend to be able to take care of their work.

5 Ways that Setting a Timer Can Drive Your Productivity
by Craig Jarrow (@TMNinja)

Key Takeaway: Having more productivity tools and apps does not necessarily equate to increased productivity. The tools we use to get things done are the same tools that multiply our distractions. One way to get things done despite technology is by setting time limits for your tasks, and having the discipline to stick to them.

Tips and Tricks:
How does setting time limits for tasks help you increase productivity?

  1. It forces you to focus.
  2. It instills discipline, by challenging you to stick to a task.
  3. It makes you more efficient with your time.
  4. It helps you get started, building bite-sized momentum for finishing even large projects.
  5. It blocks interruptions. Ignore that email or phone message until you’re done.
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Use These 5 Tips to Help Crush Your 2016 Goals
by Jonathan Long (@MDMJonathan)

Key Takeaway: Most New Year’s resolutions, both business and personal, are quickly abandoned. To avoid this, turn yours into trackable, measurable goals for the year.

Tips and Tricks:

  1. Write down your goals in a very visible location.
  2. Create a schedule for everything (and stick to it).
  3. Identify the reasons why you want to reach your goals.
  4. Surround yourself with supportive and like-minded people. Avoid toxic ones.
  5. Reward yourself whenever you reach a milestone. You’ve earned it.

Why Rituals are Superior to Habits
by Thanh Pham (@thanhtpham)

Key Takeaway: On their own, habits don’t necessarily provide motivation. You need to upgrade your habits into rituals to really get things done.

Tips and Tricks:

  1. Turn vague self-promises into specific and detailed action points so that you follow a step-by-step process.
  2. Figure out your emotional connection with what you want to achieve. While logical reasons are good, emotional ones will really help push you when the going gets rough.
  3. Develop a list of “sticky tactics” to help you stay on track.

How To Get More Energy: 8 New Secrets Backed By Research
by Eric Barker (@bakadesuyo)

Key Takeaway: When you feel unproductive, it’s usually because you don’t have enough energy to work. You haven’t slept or exercised enough, or eaten as well as you should have. You need to keep your energy levels up to stay productive.

Tips and Tricks:

  1. Do the big three first: exercise more, sleep right, and eat better.
  2. Work at the times when you’re at your best.
  3. Focus on an area to improve and just do it. Don’t talk about it or share it online.
  4. Optimism increases your energy levels. Stay positive. Hope and despair are self-fulfilling prophecies.
  5. Do things you are good at.
  6. Focus on accomplishing tasks, rather than half-completing several. Small wins add up.
  7. Trust your gut when you’re feeling tired. It will make better decisions than your brain.
  8. Relieve stress and recharge your energy by staying mentally and/or physically active, instead of just lounging around.