Each new year offers a great opportunity to take stock of your life, habits, values, and future goals. Whether you’re a hard-and-fast resolutions person or not, you can gain a lot from reflection at the fresh start of every calendar or new academic semester. We’re not encouraging a “new year, new you” attitude, but we do have several small changes you can make in 2021 to help make the year more productive… for you and your future career!
1. Skip snoozing
We know, it’s easier said than done, but it’s amazing how much waking up at your first alarm can benefit your daily life. Sleep experts assert that regularly snoozing your alarm can confuse both your body and brain, negatively impacting your circadian rhythm. So for the new year, do your best to set realistic alarms and wake up the first time. Have trouble waking up? Store your alarm out of reach from your bed, forcing you to physically get up every morning.
2. Sit toward the front, or keep your camera on!
Sitting front and center—or in a virtual world, “showing up” on camera for video calls—can have positive impacts on your life no matter what stage you’re in: it can keep you more engaged and attentive in class, or help you pay attention and better assert your ideas during meetings at work. No matter what phase of life you find yourself in, make a visible effort to show up and contribute.
3. Perform a regular “resume check”
It can be difficult to build a resume, portfolio, or robust Handshake profile at a moment’s notice. To keep your professional presence up-to-date — and not be stuck scrambling when the perfect job or internship listing pops up on your Handshake feed — try doing a regular “resume check.” Once every few weeks, review your resume, Handshake profile, and portfolio to do quick updates where needed.
Finish a new class? Add it to Handshake. Work on a big project? Add it to your digital portfolio with any positive feedback from your professor or supervisor. Volunteer somewhere new? Add it to the resume. By keeping these things updated, you’ll be better equipped to apply to awesome opportunities at the drop of a hat.
4. Cut out distractions
If you’re easily distracted during “head down” work time, use the new year as your chance to get back on track. That might mean turning your phone on airplane mode while you’re studying, only listening to instrumental music while you get work done, or downloading apps to block social media during specific time periods.
5. Make marathons work for you
Listen, we get it: it’s not realistic to cut out everything that makes life fun. But as you kick off the new year, consider ways to transform your favorite activities — like Netflix marathons — into something productive. Instead of auto-playing each new segment, apply to a new job or internship on Handshake, read a chapter of a textbook, or get five minutes of exercise between each episode of TV.
By adopting all of these small, simple habits, you can kick off the new decade with a bit of extra efficiency! Who knows what other positive changes these mini productivity resolutions might inspire in your life?