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5 career resolutions for a more productive 2020

02 Jan

Understanding what drives our productivity is tricky - the approaches your colleagues successfully use may not be the most helpful for you. This is why you need to take a personalised approach. Low productivity harms our morale and when tasks become lengthy the work will pile up on your desk. Therefore, we need to develop habits that will energise us at work and foster enthusiasm. Here are five career resolutions that will help you become more productive in 2020:

Ask for feedback

Millennials - those born between 1981 and 1996 – are setting a new trend where feedback is valued more than it has been previously. Half of this generation find regular feedback meaningful, and understandably so, since you can only progress at work once you’re aware of what you’re doing right and the areas you could improve in. It can be difficult to objectively look at your performance and determine how you could be more productive, but this is where your managers and colleagues come in. Ask for a 15-minute one-to-one session with your manager and be clear about what you want feedback on. For example, you may want an evaluation of your performance on a project or guidance on which skills you should focus on developing.


The best way to develop your skills is to engage in continuous learning, which research has proven is directly related to job satisfaction. Upskilling allows you to feel more empowered and fulfilled at work as you can clearly see your contribution to the company’s success. As you become more engaged at work it will drive your enthusiasm and productivity. Perhaps you could explore the option of becoming a mentor for someone else in the business – this will give you a unique insight into the challenges that your colleagues face and you can apply this learning to your obstacles.

Know the best way to reduce stress

4 in 10 employees who are stressed at work report that this harms their productivity levels. One of the most powerful, yet underused, methods to reduce stress is practising mindfulness. The aim of mindfulness is to be aware on a moment by moment basis of what you are doing, yet this will mean something entirely different to each person. Your colleagues may practice mindfulness by meditating or reading a book, but for you it could be mixing up your daily routine. Walking a different route to work or visiting a new place will help you be more present and mindful because of all the new sights and sounds that you’ll absorb.

Monitor your progress

Day-to-day achievements can be huge motivators but they’re not easy to recognise. If you fail to celebrate these small wins you are depriving yourself of the dopamine boosts that the brain fires out when you complete a task. To optimise the effect this has on your productivity you must hone your aim – have a clear idea of what you want, such as a promotion or more responsibility, and identify the steps you need to get there. Meanwhile, confront the habits that derail your performance. Recognising your progress and having an end goal in sight will highlight your productivity level and motivate you to keep moving forward.

Stop trying to multitask

A report by Science Daily found that multitasking reduces our productivity by 40%. You could be losing almost half of your working hours if you’re switching between tasks too frequently. To avoid this, start your day by outlining what you must achieve, break that down into small tasks and add a priority number to each, which will enable you to focus on one at a time. Naturally, it’s not always possible to complete a task without any distractions or a new priority being added to the list. But simply creating the ordered list will help you understand where this new task will fit in, or whether the distraction is something that you can leave until you’ve finished the task at hand. This process will allow you to efficiently allocate your time and boost your productivity level.

Find your next job at Travis Perkins

With a range of roles across 20+ businesses, the Travis Perkins Group is a great company to take your next career step with. We’re always interested in hearing from candidates who are passionate about excellent customer service, so have a look at our latest jobs or sign up here for personalised job alerts.

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