What can we expect from 2022?
In this article, I want to look at the new year from the productivity and work-life balance perspective. I’ll be sharing the best tips to keep happy and productive in 2022, to work better and more efficiently.
Obviously, it’s hard to predict how 2022 will be, considering that the global pandemic is far from over and this will likely create a climate of economic uncertainty.
It’s also important to remember that the way people work is changing. Everybody started working from home in 2020. And at the same time, a hybrid in-office, remote work mode was implemented by many companies.
For example, our own company is currently experimenting with the latter, a hybrid work setting. So many of the tips below come from my experience in writing as someone who has worked in an office, from home, and now, in a mix of the two.
Wherever you may work, you need to establish a schedule as much as you can.
Humans are creatures of habits. We love routines, because routines put our brain on autopilot.
Now, if you’re working remotely, I’m guessing that at some point you struggled with managing your day, without the pace and deadline of office hours. I know I did!
And now that I work in a hybrid work setting, I have to keep up the consistency from the days you’re in office, and the ones I’m working from home.
The key here is exactly that: consistency. That means starting to work roughly at the same time, having breaks at the same time, finishing work at the same time. Keep up a steady pace of work between sprints and rest, to avoid fighting against the calendar.
Yes, interruptions happen, as well as distractions. Of course, you’ll have to adapt your schedule and your work. However, if you correct back to your regular schedule as soon as you can, the more focused and effective you’ll be.
This tip will make a difference especially if you work from home.
Ideally, you should have a separate room where you can go do work, keep focused there, and close the door behind when you’ve finished. However, not everybody has a house so big that it can host a home office. All you need is a simple space dedicated to work, and nothing else. A desk or table that you use to work only is enough. While working on your bed or from the couch is a big no-no, your dedicated workstation can be customized for your needs and your style.
Do you love mechanical keyboards? Get one! Fancy lamp or cute post-it notes? Yes please! Gaming chair or standing desk? Get whichever works for you!
When your workspace keeps you focused and at ease, then you’ll work better.
If you don’t work from home, you can still personalize your office desk with objects that help you or relax you. Just try to avoid clutter, because that can actually have a negative effect.
This is an evergreen productivity tip but it’s always valid.
Overwhelming tasks can bring you down before you even begin your work. Not to mention, you can lose track of all the things you need to do to complete the task.
You can break down big projects into steps and phases. Every time you complete a phase, you take a big step forward to project completion. Not to mention, breaking down a project in phases also speeds up the estimating and invoicing process.
As for individual tasks, those too can be broken down into steps. Then you can draft a plan and schedule your micro-tasks, and get them done one by one.
Well, 2021 has been… a lot.
Social media and the internet help us feel connected and keep informed. However, doomscrolling is a thing: just endlessly scrolling down pages and pages of bad news, terrifying posts, clickbaity articles.
If you work remotely and want to avoid feeling isolated, it’ll be easy to resort to spending more time online.
However, learning to take a break from the incessant flow of information is also crucial. Studies have shown how doomscrolling is horrible for our mental health. In particular, avoid bringing your electronics and staring at the screen before going to bed. Your brain and eyes will thank you, believe me
OK, I realize that this tip seems to contradict what I just said. Doesn’t technology just launch us into an endless tunnel of sadness and despair?
Well, not necessarily. Technology is a tool, and we need to learn how to use it correctly.
Not all software is created equal, and a lot of time, productivity software can actually improve our life for the better.
There is software out there to manage your calendar, keep an eye on projects and tasks, and also improve time management.
Automating and streamlining processes, projects, and tasks is essential to save time and be more organized.
So look for the right tools and software to organize your work and daily life. You can start for example, with a time tracking tool to keep your hours in order and deliver projects on time.
Protecting your mental health is as important as your productivity.
As a company, we’ve always been strong supporters of a healthy work-life balance.
First, get rid of menial, repetitive tasks that suck away your time and concentration.
If you work from home, the line between work and personal life may become blurry. Try to keep a steady work routine, and when you’ve done, make sure to unplug. Don’t forget that there’s nothing wrong with saying no to, or delegating work.
If you’re a manager, keep in mind that constantly monitoring, emailing, and micromanaging your workers, will only lead them to burnout. Not to mention, it would waste your own time, that you could use for better, more productive things. Establish (and respect) boundaries, best practices to keep the work running, and be mindful of your team’s personal space.
These were the best productivity tips for 2022. While there are for sure things that are beyond our control, you can keep your productivity and well-being on track. You can manage your schedule and your daily tasks, and when you’re struggling you can take a step back, or let technology help you.
We wish you a happy and productive 2022!
Whenever you are ready… here are 3 ways we can help you manage your time in a more productive manner: