The holidays are over and the new year has finally unfolded. It is time to start working on the plans, goals and to-dos you’ve been nurturing, now that the year is fresh and new.

Before you start off your year completely, take some time to refocus and clarify your goals. Look at these five ways to boost your productivity in 2018.

1. Stay Laser Focused on One Task
With so many things on your to-do list, it’s tempting to try and tackle everything at once. But trying to send out emails while working on reports will only drag out both tasks.

Instead of multi-tasking, stay laser focused one task at a time.

A 2010 study found that the brain can only handle two major tasks at one time. If you’re trying to juggle five, you’re overloading your brain.

Focusing on just one task (maybe two) will help you get the job done faster and more effectively.

2. Ditch the Distractions
Even if you only have one task on your plate, it can be hard to stay on track. In today’s world, there are distractions around every corner. Someone just commented on your Facebook photo. Something catastrophic just happened in a country across the world. Your co-worker won’t stop jamming out to his favorite heavy metal band.

Finding a way to ditch the distractions will help you stay focused and get things done faster.

Put your phone on silent. Forget checking the news. Shut out co-workers.

3. Take Advantage of New Technology
Having trouble prioritizing tasks? Are there things you can automate? Research new technologies available in your field, and use them to your advantage. Advanced technology has affected virtually every type of work out there, including some that might surprise you.

4. Prioritize Tasks
Before starting your day, take the time to make a list of everything you need to get done and prioritize your tasks. Get the most important things done first, and then tackle the less-important things.

The goal is to get these important things done at the start of the day when your focus and performance is at its best.

Usually, the tasks at the top of your list are the most intensive. Getting them out of the way first thing in the morning will make the rest of your afternoon (when we tend to lose steam) easier.

5. Get Away from it All
Chaining yourself to a desk day in and day out can make you dread coming to work. If you feel like you’ve hit a brick wall, a change of scenery may be just the thing to put you back on track.

Take your laptop to the local coffee shop or park to get some fresh air. Working outdoors comes with a host of benefits. Soaking up that vitamin D (in a safe way) will help stimulate your mind and make you more productive.

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