“2021, a year that made 2020 feel like a mere prequel, with events more apocalyptic, more unpredictable, and more bizarre than any previous year in the history of years...”
The opening quote from the Netflix satire Death to 2021 is obviously a joke which relies on hyperbole, but considering that we had a prolonging pandemic, wildfires, and floods – not mentioning the political turmoil all over the world and how the economy was still recovering – the statement might not be too far-fetched for a lot of people. Some others, though, might disagree. Regardless of whether there were more good things or bad things that happened to us in 2021, the year is gone, and we’re already in the first quarter of 2022.
But problems don’t automatically go away just because we step into another year. In Q1 of 2022, some of us may feel anxious, even after spending some time on a holiday. A new year means uncharted territories and unknown challenges. To add to the pile of problems, there might also be some leftover feelings of burnout that we carry from last year. All the uncertainty and fatigue might influence our motivation to work on our professional goals in 2022. If your 2022 hasn’t been uplifting for your career or businesses, here are several things you can do.
Set Yourself Realistic Goals
Screw grand resolutions, because most of them never actually happen. Instead of making unrealistic resolutions such as working out 20 hours a day, you can set yourself achievable goals, such as having better time management. You might want to work on certain areas you struggle with. Don’t forget to write down your goals so that you can visualize them better and make them happen for real (it’s backed up by science – Michigan State University found that 76% of people who write their goals actually make them happen).
Take One Step at A Time
Speaking of realistic goals, make sure that you also take realistic actions to make them happen. If you want to be more productive, you might want to start with being a little more productive. For example, you can add just one task to finish on each day. By the end of the month, you’ll have 20 – 30 more things completed that you usually do. Taking little steps and just doing it persistently can help you achieve your goals more easily rather than taking everything at once. As the old Chinese proverbs said, a journey of 1000 steps begins with one.
Create A System of Self-reward
If you’re struggling to find motivation, it’s probably because you find little to no reward after you complete something. If this is the case, you can be the first person to reward yourself for the hard work you’ve done. There are tons of ways you can reward yourself. If you like food, you can treat yourself to a nice meal after successfully completing a task you struggle with. Turning off all devices to get a few minutes of calm can also be a reward that you give to your busy life. Whatever your idea of self-reward is, it can help you recharge and become more productive.
Try the Pomodoro Technique
In case you’ve never heard of it, the pomodoro technique is a time management method that makes you more productive. This technique was actually invented by someone who was struggling with productivity. Basically, this method makes you work in 25-minute intervals followed by 5-minute breaks (instead of working non-stop). After four intervals, you can take a longer moment to have a break (15 to 20 minutes). Not only does this method get your work done, it also improves the quality of work, according to science.
Sleep It Off
No, we’re not kidding. Sleep actually can help you at work. Biologically, sleeping helps you retain memory and focus, in addition to improving your learning and problem-solving skills. On the other hand, not getting enough sleep can make you feel focused. Fort HealthCare found that sleep deprivation can lower your focus by 32%. If you don’t feel energized at work, you’re probably just not getting enough sleep. Why do you think companies such as Google have sleeping pods for their employees to take a one-hour or two-hour nap?
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