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The New Year is a time for new beginnings and new resolutions. Many of us consider starting the gym or vowing to read more, but these intentions are usually forgotten by the end of January. So, how about making some professional New Year’s resolutions and make the 2017 working year a more meaningful one?

Some ideas for professional New Year’s Resolutions:

1.      Reduce your stress – If you were stressed throughout 2016, and the Christmas break is a welcome relief, then this is a resolution for you! Firstly, you have to figure out where the stress is coming from and it’s root cause. The triggers could be coming from other work colleagues/bosses or they could be pressures that you are putting on yourself. Different things work for different people, so find out what calms you down the best. This could be anything from a 10-minute walk, some fresh air, or just a vent to your friend on the phone. Whatever the coping mechanism is, implement it throughout next year and overall, just become more aware of your stress levels so that it doesn’t progress or develop into anything more sinister!

2.      Put down the electronics – If you are finding that you are having trouble sleeping at night (which is resulting in you feeling tired and unproductive at work), then it could have something to do with your use of electronics. The light that is emitted from the device’s screen makes our bodies believe that it is light from outside and that our bodies should be awake. This interferes with our physiological cycle. Try putting your devices down or stop watching TV a little earlier and read a book. This will help our brain realise that it is night time and you should be able to drift off a little more easily.

3.      It’s OK to ask for help – There seems to be an epidemic of fear when asking for help at work. People seem to think that if you ask for help, others will think that you weren’t paying attention, or that you are not as smart as your co-workers. If you don’t ask questions, you may be setting yourself up for failure! Asking questions can show that you want to get the job done well and shows dedication to the task.

4.      Be more organised – Why not get a head start for the New Year and make sure you’re organised. Even the little things, such as keeping your desk and workspace clean and tidy and having an organised desktop (so that it doesn’t look cluttered) will increase your efficiency and productivity.

5.      Take more breaks – It has been found that employees feel that if they take a prolonged break from their desk, it makes them look less productive, and that it takes time away from getting on with work. Staples have found that 90% of employers actually encourage taking breaks, as this optimises productivity. The blog ‘Desktime’ carried out a study that found that 10% of the most productive employees take a break, on average, after 52 minutes of work, for 17 minutes. Smaller more frequent breaks, retains a higher level of productivity.

6.      Stop taking business matters personally – The line, “It’s not personal, Sonny. It’s strictly business” springs to mind from the Godfather. You’ve got to learn to take it as constructive criticism and move on. All criticism is good criticism.

Switch it up this year and choose a professional New Year resolution and see how it could improve your work life!

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