2017 is a thing of past. It’s 2018 – a brand new year with new hopes to build and new lessons to learn. You might have delivered some smashing projects whereas some would have given you a taste of reality. Failure and success go hand in hand but as they say, “All is well that ends well.”
Now, let’s back to the reality. You’ve entered office – exhausted and tired from partying and celebrations. With your morning cappuccino, you’re thinking how you would have made this the best year but taking the present situation into account, it seems like a dream.
If that’s the case with you, all you need is some dose of motivation and little changes here and there in your lifestyle, work and everything that revolves around them.
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Here are some hacks for you that can help you make 2018 an awesome year.
1. Plan your day a night before
This one is a no stunner. You’ve been listening to this advice since you were in school. Don’t you? Planning your tomorrow tonight gives you an edge over others. You don’t have to start your day haphazardly without any clue where to go and what to do. Instead you are well-prepared in advance and all set to crush your goals.
Take the pain to take out 5-15 minutes before you sleep to save hours of confusion, unclarity and disarray.
2. Get moving
In order to make the most of this year, first you need to be in good shape. Never mind if you’ve been neglecting your health in 2017, now is the time to make healthy habits and break a sweat. When you work out or engage yourself in some physical activity, your body releases endorphins which are also known as ‘happy hormones’.
A healthy body is the foundation on which you can form new habits in the future. You don’t need to hit the gym, you can try cycling, running or swimming for that matter. The idea is to get the body moving and become a fitter you.
3. Practice an ‘Hour of Power’
Motivation doesn’t last forever, you need to replenish it regularly. And, you can do this by practising an hour of power daily. That’s how all the motivated individuals out there, prefer to do it. They watch motivational videos, listen powerful speeches, say strong affirmations in the first hour they wake up which in return, do wonders for their mental health.
In these 60 minutes, do everything you can possibly do to keep yourself upbeat and inspired the whole day. If you start your day right, half the battle is won already!
4. Set priorities for the day
What’s the best method to get more done? Simple – make to-do lists and then prioritize the tasks. As one of the biggest challenges for a project manager is to manage humongous workload. Fret not, you can take notes from Arianna Huffington, the founder of Huffington Post. She told My Morning Routine that once she wakes up, she exercises and then sets priorities for the day that helps her to take charge of the day in an orderly and timely fashion.
When we set priorities, our mind automatically adjusts itself to dodge distractions and focus on being more productive.
5. Eat that frog first
I guess we all know that first step is often the most difficult one. But if you plan your day a night before, you’d have fair idea of how to go about your day. According to science, our mind is fresh and ready to absorb information when we wake up. It’s the most appropriate time to take on the hardest or time-consuming task.
This way you are most likely to get it done without compromising on something. Choose your ‘frog’ of the day, timebox it and stick to complete it as soon as possible.
6. Put something healthy inside
You are what you eat. It’s no rocket science that the food we eat directly impacts our health and then our mood. Following a healthy diet isn’t always convenient or cheap, but it has a positive effect on your health – both short and long term. On the contrary, if you eat poorly while working, it can tank your energy levels and you may feel lethargic the whole day.
Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin group, is well known for paying attention to his eating habits. He says he usually has fruit salad and muesli for breakfast and opt for healthier options throughout the day.
7. Pomodoro technique
There are thousands of people out there raving about the Pomodoro technique. For all those who don’t know much about this technique, it’s a time management philosophy that aims to provide the user with uninterrupted focus and creative freshness.
The process is simple: you work for 25 minutes completely focused keeping distractions at bay and then take a break for five minutes. We all know the amount of work and responsibility project managers carry on their shoulders; they should definitely employ this technique to get more done in less.
8. Get the right tools
All the successful project managers swear by the importance of right project management tools. With so much work on your plate, having the right project management software by your side can help you manage projects, tasks and people effectively without much hassle. It’s not possible to do everything on your own. If you can automate mundane tasks and bring consistency in life, why not?
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9. Boost your mood with music
Doing the same work for longer durations can make the entire process monotonic. Whether you are project manager or an IT developer, you need something to refresh your mind. What better than music? But you need to be mindful while playing the kind of music when working. Some work best with rock while others may be benefited with melodies and symphonies.
As per a study, 79% of people boost productivity regardless of their age, occupation, and personal habits.
Tip: While making your workplace playlist, make sure your music elevates your productivity not distract you with loud music or melancholic lyrics.
10. Stick those cheesy motivational quotes
There’s an old saying, “You become what you read.” Our minds are unstable, it keeps running form one thing to another. With so much going around, it’s possible to lose focus. However, cliche` it may sound, sticking inspirational quotes in your cubicle is the best way to self-motivate you.
Well-structured messages along with effective imagery has the power to make to act on things. Because when you are reading something powerful 24*7, your brain subconsciously starts acting in accordance to the written words.
11. Dress down a bit
You may think putting an effort to decide what to wear helps you get attention of friends, colleagues and seniors. Do you realize how much time and effort goes into the whole process of deciding what and what not to wear. It may sound counterintuitive but eliminating stress about choosing your clothes can save you a lot of time and effort.
Mark Zuckerberg, who is famous for his dressing down, explained to the Independent that he likes to save his mental energy for important decisions and simplified his routine by wearing the same outfit daily. The whole idea is to reduce the time spent on this and save the energy for important tasks.
12. Have some fun
It’s difficult to be productive when you are doing the similar type of work everyday in and out. Monotony and boredom can creep up anytime. Moreover, it’s common to be little laid-back when you are returning to work after a long holidays. Some people call it ‘Post-holiday blues’.
Being a project manager, try incorporating some fun activities. Give employees a reason to look forward to come to office. The best thing about these activities is that they make the work environment light, playful and productive.
13. Think about 3 things you’re grateful for
We spend so much of our valuable time and effort complaining and thinking about the things we don’t possess or wish we had. But somewhere between this, we forget to be appreciative or grateful about the things we have. This one is a no hack but just a reminder that life is beautiful we should thank it everyday for everything good that happens in our life.
From now on, think about 3 things you’re grateful for. It can be something as small as getting a project approved to a team worker that went of his way to help you. Develop an attitude for gratitude.
These are some of the motivational hacks for project managers that can help them manage work better, maintain a good health and create a better work-life balance.
If you’d like to share some hacks or tips, don’t forget to leave a comment below. With this, we would like to wish you a very happy new year.