While New Year’s Day is typically designated as the “resolution” holiday, it’s better to spread your resolutions around throughout the year, according to the experts. And, rather than the big goal resolution you declare in January, it’s also better to set goals that are attainable rather than those huge tough ones people typically give up on by February.
With that in mind, here are some “anytime” resolutions you can begin right now:
1. Turn off the phone for a part of each day.
(Photo via Jarek Sawiuk on Flickr)
Smartphones are great—they can connect you to everything—but it’s no secret that they’re so distracting you sometimes lose track of where you are and what you’re doing. Keeping one on your desk is probably the most distracting thing you can do at work. Even if you have iron willpower, why not resolve to move your phone away from your desk when you don’t absolutely need it. And for sales people, administrators and tele-marketers whose jobs are spent on the phone, maybe just switch it to airplane mode while on scheduled breaks. Oh, and don’t use the “phone-free” time to answer email and tweets. Try to stay unplugged from the grid for just a little each day.
2. Listen to classical music.
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If you’re in the market for a resolution to help you focus and also make work a little more fun, start listening to music, especially classical tunes. According to Psychology Today, “up-tempo” classical music can improve productivity. While contemporary music doesn’t test as well as classical in general, you should experiment with various styles. (Stephen King admits he prefers to listen to hard rock music while he writes).
3. Work standing up part of the day.
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Recently, we featured a gallery of standup desks after learning from MayoClinic.org that sitting all day has been tied to a wide range of health concerns such as obesity, high blood pressure, and abnormal cholesterol levels and back problems. This health resolution will be a great way to add variety to your day, though it could confuse your co-workers.
4. Take on a project away from work.
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In a recent interview about landing the first creative director position at NPR, Liz Danzico admitted that she has made a career out of side projects. She explains that if you take on more then one project at a time that have little in common with each other, both will benefit because their differences will help spark new ideas. Take up a hobby, serve on a civic board, mentor a young entrepreneur; rather than taking away from your job, this resolution can help add to it.
6. Read novels.
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A study in Science found that people who read literary fiction do better on tests that measure empathy, social perception and emotional intelligence than those who read non-fiction. The study compared the results of five tests given people who read both types of literature. The researchers say the findings suggest that fiction leaves more to the imagination and thus encourages readers to make character inferences on their own. Reading some classic fiction in 2014 might just make you a better people person in real life.
6. Resist the television.
(Photo via Robert Gunther on Flickr)
The time between getting home from work and going to bed isn’t known as a high-energy period—it’s the time of day we expect (or hope) to relax and unwind—a happy time. But watching TV might be undermining those hopes. John Robinson, a professor of sociology at the University of Maryland, conducted a study into what kinds of activities happy people engage in. He found that happy people watch much less TV than unhappy people do. So if you are seeking a resolution that could give you a happy and richer home life, turn off the television and unwind with something new.
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Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, has been quoted saying, “Walking is man’s best medicine.” According to a study by two scientists at the College of London, walking at least 30 minutes a day was linked to an 18% lower risk of coronary artery disease. Furthermore, people who walked at least three hours a week showed 35% lower risk of a heart attack and 34% lower risk of having a stroke. Along with physical health, the cardiovascular benefits of walking reduces mental stress. If you need an easy way to start feeling better start looking for time at the beginning, end or middle of your day to take a stroll.
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What do you do daily to boost your productivity?
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