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5 Tips to Be More Productive in 2023

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It’s that time of year to set unrealistic New Year’s resolutions! If being more productive in 2023 is one of your goals, I hope this article helps.

Since high school, I’ve been fascinated with personal productivity because I wanted more time to hang out with my friends and play sports and video games. One of my top Gallup CliftonStrengths is “Achiever,” and I was able to leverage this strength to complete my doctorate in less than three years while working full-time at a Fortune 500 company and teaching part-time at a local university.

So, here are five tips to help you be more productive at work and home in 2023:

1. Create purpose-based goals

Creating goals aligned with your purpose seems like common sense, but sometimes we achieve our goals because we’re not as passionate about the goal as we thought.

I had a chance to interview bestselling author Paul Epstein on my podcast to talk about purpose, and he provided a great formula to help us create and understand purpose-driven goals. He calls it the Head-Heart-Hands equation (Head + Heart = Hands). Head is a mindset, Heart is authenticity, and Hands are our actions. To decide whether to take action (i.e., commit to your New Year’s resolution), check in with your Head and Heart. When both Head and Heart are on board, accomplishing a goal is more manageable and can even be fun!

For example, if our goal in 2023 is to lose 10 lbs, our Head says to do it, but there’s no Heart-based reason to commit (especially when inconvenience or lack of willpower sets in). But if your Heart is on board (i.e., live a long healthy life to one day raise a family), your Heart gives you a reason to stay committed to the resolution because purpose lives in the Heart. To create more purpose-based goals, we should first emphasize making Heart decisions, not just smart decisions.

Related: 5 Strategies to Becoming More Purposeful and Productive

2. Lean-based thinking

I got certified in the process improvement methodology, lean (removing waste or non-value-added activities from a process), while working at one of my first corporate jobs to help improve processes for the organization. This same philosophy can help you as you enter the new year. What tasks can you eliminate that do not add value to your goals or happiness? I live in Los Angeles, and if I have an early morning meeting, I’ll leave before 6:00 a.m. to beat traffic and work at a Starbucks near the meeting site for an hour or two, rather than sitting in traffic (waste), which could take an extra 1-3 hours.

3. Focus on mental well-being

Gallup’s latest data found that stress is at an all-time high. When stressed out, it’s hard to focus and complete tasks. To combat stress in my career while working on very demanding projects, I used to go to the gym at 3:30 a.m. to get a workout in before I started my day in the office, but I used this time to practice mindfulness and plan my day. Now that I have kids, I take them on walks in the morning to enjoy nature, talk about life, let mom sleep uninterrupted, and I exercise before bed. Also, another thing that helped me stay positive was not to look at my phone until I finished my workout, got my coffee and ate breakfast. Why would I start my day comparing myself to others on social media or get upset about a work email before I’ve had my coffee and endorphins?

Related: Use These 8 Focus Tactics to Become Your Most Productive Self Yet

4. Relationships are key

Interpersonal skills, often referred to as “soft skills,” are crucial to building relationships and getting things done at work. Tasks can be completed more quickly and more accurately if we have strong relationships at home and work. For example, if you’ve helped out folks from a different group or department in your office, they may return the favor by letting you know that a last-minute meeting was called and someone forgot to invite you, which may impact your team. Saying “please” and “thank you” in emails can go a long way. Also, picking up the phone, rather than sending a lengthy email or instant message, is a great way to build relationships or convey a complicated or sensitive issue. Building relationships can happen over coffee or lunch, asking for advice/mentoring and being altruistic.

5. Self-compassion and community

Nothing worth accomplishing happens overnight: Be easy on yourself, and try not to compare yourself to others. You don’t know other people’s struggles while they are working on their goals. Also, if you want to achieve your goals, build a community of friends and loved ones who do not judge but will help hold you accountable. Surrounding yourself with the right people should probably be the first thing on your “to-do list” going into 2023. Without my wife, classmates and employers’ support, I could not have finished my doctorate in less than three years.

Incremental progress should be the most important goal as we enter the new year. As we put away our holiday decorations and catch up on our work emails, let’s focus on our goals while not being too hard on ourselves to achieve these goals. Even though there are more than five tips to help us be more productive in 2023, I hope these strategies that worked for me will be helpful for you. Best wishes in 2023!

Related: 7 Ways to Boost Your Weekly Productivity

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10 Things Every Working Woman Should Do This Year

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Self-care has become an all-encompassing term that has strayed from the importance of everyday commodities that keep us in good health and spirits. Though pampering and “treat yourself” moments still have value, here are ten ways to invest in yourself to produce long-lasting, positive results.

Related: 8 Self-Care Tips From Wildly Successful Entrepreneurs

1. Put money into a 401(k)

It’s never too early (or too late!) to start saving for the future. Depending on your employment status, there are different retirement savings accounts. 401(k)s are the most common since these are employer-sponsored and often come with an employer match. However, freelancers also have options, such as a SEP-IRA or a high-yield savings account, to put away extra, tax-free dollars for retirement.

2. Schedule a health checkup

Self-care first includes taking care of your physical health. It’s easy to discredit regular checkups when you’re feeling healthy, but make this the year to get your blood work done. It creates a baseline for your health to identify areas needing improvement or extra attention.

Also, choose areas in your life where you can make small changes. Improving your health doesn’t always mean a drastic overhaul; it may be as simple as drinking more water or adding an extra 30 minutes of exercise to your day.

Related: 3 Key Tips for Optimizing Your Physical Health as an Entrepreneur

3. Review health insurance benefits

Many people with health insurance aren’t sure exactly what it does and doesn’t cover. If you’re unsure, talk with your HR representative or your health insurance provider to get an overview of deductibles, co-payments and other supplemental benefits you may not be aware of. Then, decide if the health care plan makes sense for your current lifestyle.

Are you paying for benefits you don’t use, or do you need additional benefits that aren’t covered? Selecting the right plan will help ensure you have what you need without paying the extra expense for anything you don’t.

4. Ignite your curiosity

Maintaining healthy cognitive functions through new pursuits gives a boost to the brain. Get curious and find what speaks to you. This can be anything from exploring local museums, embarking on different hiking trails, learning a new language or reading more books.

There’s no limit to what you can do, and these activities can ignite more creativity and motivation in your work. While it may be helpful to look to others for inspiration, make them enjoyable so you’ll want to make them a regular occurrence.

5. Prioritize mental health

Mental health has been at the forefront of people’s lives over the past few years, as many have experienced burnout. We often equate productivity with a value that drives us to go beyond our means and leads to anxiety, stress and depression. Take note of your everyday stressors and see how to reduce or eliminate them. Then, replace them with relaxing outlets that allow you to recharge.

There are various ways to prioritize mental health, from practicing positive self-talk to meditation to scheduling an electronics-free day. You may have to try different solutions before you find one that fits.

Related: 5 Ways to Protect Your Mental Health as an Entrepreneur

6. Implement good sleep habits

Consistent sleep is one of the essential factors of good health but one that is often overlooked. For many, it can be challenging to wind down from the workday. Therefore, you must “train” your body to prepare for sleep by getting into a nighttime routine.

Create a sanctuary for yourself to improve your sleep habits. Enjoy a soothing cup of herbal tea, perform a skincare routine, and snuggle in with a good book rather than scrolling through your phone. Additionally, ensure your bedroom is dark and cool for ideal sleep comfort and turn on soothing sounds if it helps lull you to sleep.

7. Try something new

What have you wanted to try but have always held back? Maybe it’s public speaking or contributing to a blog. Whatever “new” has been on your to-do, make a plan, schedule it on your calendar and go for it. It’s common to hold back from these activities due to fear of the unknown or failure, but trying new things helps create confidence and can be the catalyst you need to push you to the next level.

8. Learn to set boundaries

Boundary setting is crucial to relationships yet can be difficult to master. It doesn’t always involve simply saying no to people’s requests. Instead, it requires protecting your own values when people violate them. Setting boundaries may mean spending less time with certain people, removing yourself from toxic situations, or declining invites to events that don’t improve your life. Explore areas where boundaries will help you grow, and keep in mind growth itself is a work in progress.

Related: How to Set Boundaries to Build Thriving Relationships

9. Spend quality time alone

Learning how to enjoy time spent alone is a valuable gift. We are inundated by a false sense of connection through the internet, which often makes us feel lonelier than ever. Then, we overschedule our calendars to make up for human connections, only to feel drained afterward. Slow it down and plan a few solo dates a month to see how it feels to be truly present with yourself.

For those who aren’t used to spending quality time alone, it can feel awkward and uncomfortable initially, but these stem from your own perceptions. Take in a matinee, sit in a coffee shop and read, or enjoy a concert or event you’ve wanted to attend. Alone time has been linked to improved stress management and greater life satisfaction, so it’s worth trying to give yourself more time.

Related: Turns Out, Those Who Like Being Alone Can Be More Creative

10. Get active

Getting active can take on several directions. It can be physical, emotional or spiritual. The point is to engage with people and pursuits that feed your soul. Whether volunteering within your community, setting yourself an exercise goal, or learning more about personal development, there are endless ways to get active and invest in yourself this year.

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Are You a Winner? How to Truly Define Winning in Your Business

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Businesses gauge their performance typically with dozens of goals and metrics. But you can’t do everything at once. The challenge is to get people focused on the one thing that’s most important right now. If it moved in the right direction, it would eliminate a weakness (or capitalize on an opportunity) and improve financial outcomes. You improve that, and you win.

However, not every company clearly defines winning. A catalog of goals can pull the organization in multiple directions and stretch finite resources. Numerous goals can inherently be at odds, working against each other and for conflicting purposes. For example, a cost reduction goal might undermine an innovation goal requiring a significant investment.

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Gen Z Is Making Ugg Boots Fashionable Again: Report

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Ugg boots, the furry, sheepskin boots that defined the 2000s are back, apparently, with spiking interest and Gen Z cachet, according to data from shopping website, Lyst.

The site’s annual quarterly report that highlights the “hottest” 20 fashion brands was released on Thursday, and, as Insider noted, Ugg is on it for the first time since the index began in 2017.

“Gen Z shoppers are breathing new life into once dormant brands … with over 1.2 billion mentions on TikTok — Ugg’s influence is undeniable,” the report notes.

The boots were also sold out of stores during the holidays, it added.

Generation Z, or people born between 1997 and 2012, has demonstrated a penchant for bringing back old technology and trends, from flip phones to “vintage” headphones with cords.

But Ugg boots go back much further — the word “ugg” is actually a general term in Australia that means boots made from sheepskin and fleece, according to the BBC.

The company that created the “UGG” boot, Deckers Outdoor Corporation, is based in the U.S. and has tried and failed to trademark the word in Australia (where a court decided it was a generic word and thus could not be trademarked), the outlet added.

The company says the boots began to gain popularity in California in the 1980s. They were first featured on Oprah’s Favorite Things in 2000 (a huge brand-maker back then) and became “cherished commodities” early in the decade, according to Vogue.

The boots later gained prominence again with a fashion movement that prioritized “ugly” clothes, and have since become an unironic Gen Z favorite, per Insider. Kylie Jenner was also spotted wearing them in November.

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