We originally wrote an article for Fresh Business Thinking. Updated for 2022, we share three New Years Resolutions for top managers.

From Facilities Management to Construction, work can often bring big challenges.  This has been especially so over the last couple of years with many challenges affecting businesses around the world.

Now is a good time to take a step back. Pause, reflect and start the new year with a fresh slate and new goals.

Whether you have 10 employees or 1000s, here are some resolutions you can easily put into place to help grow your business in the coming year.

Despite massive advances in technology, many of us find ourselves working harder and longer hours. Particular as more and more of us are working from home. The separation between work and home life is becoming ever more blurred.  Unfortunately longer and longer working hours doesn’t lead to increased productivity. In fact, productivity in Britain has declined to 15 per cent below the OECD average when measured as the hourly output per worker .

Studies show that working more than 55 hours a week puts your employees at increased risk of depression, diabetes, heart disease or even a stroke.

Get you and your team to follow these resolutions and you’ll be well on your way towards a more creative, productive and effective 2022.

1. Learn to Say No

When managing a department or even running your own business, it’s not healthy to think that you’re always at work. This will only leave you and your team constantly wired. It can affect your physical and mental health and in the worst cases lead to burnout

Separating your work life and personal life and recognising when it’s time to stop is key. Turn off work notifications and turn your phone to silent for certain contacts in your “out-of-office” hours. Set a time each evening where you will “clock-off” for the day. Rest hard before you work hard – not the other way round.

Start work fresh, alert and with energy can really help creativity. If you’re fighting fatigue? How effective a leader can you be if you can barely stay awake?

2. Throw Away Your To-Do Lists

Managers or Owners/Directors often find themselves juggling various tasks throughout the day. To-do list may seem like an obvious thing to do, however, putting each task on your calendar rather than a list is far more effective. Instead of being left frustrated with endless pages of half done tasks, each task will be allocated a time slot on your schedule. A never ending list will be replaced with a visual representation of your day. It will be easier to move around tasks and better understand their order of priority.

Using a calendar rather than a to-do list or task list can also help you manage your time in general. You can more easily see what you have to complete each week alongside time blocked out for other things such as exercise, family and friends.

The key is time blocking. Break your day up into chunks. Set some time aside in the morning to reply to emails and schedule the rest of your day in order of priority. If you’re working from home, you could consider working from a local coffee shop for half of the day. Sometimes a change of scene can be refreshing and help stimulate your brain. If you’re office-based – make sure you get up and go for a short walk at some point. You can also time block for exercise and rest, which will essentially help you to achieve a better work-life balance whilst organising your “to-do tasks” more clearly.

If you are managing multiple staff members, you could consider using job management software such as Okappy’s workforce management platform. The calendar in particular allows you to see all of your jobs when for employees or subcontractors and whether by day, week or month at a glance.

3. New Year, Same You

This may seem satire, but the key is to stay authentic.

You may read articles about leaders in your industry working 20 hour days. But different people have different approaches to work. It’s important to find the approach that best suits your needs rather than trying to copy the working lifestyles of other business leaders. Stay faithful to yourself whilst you and your business evolve and experience growth.

In these difficult times it’s important to not lose sight of how far you’re business has come. Take timeout and reflect. Keep focused on those long-term goals of your business.

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