My job requires me to do a lot of research. For most projects I need to do background reading or search for a company or person that has expertise in the area I’m writing about. However it shames me to say that I end up trawling through sites for hours under the guise of doing research. It is really quite embarrassing.

With this being a new year and all, I’ve decided to make some changes. I don’t call them resolutions because they sound too much like something I HAVE to do and as soon as I am forced to do something I dig in my heels and refuse to budge.

So I call them New Year’s Wishes. It sounds less intimidating and also if I don’t achieve them I don’t feel that bad. It is all in the terminology I guess.

My big wish for this year is to figure out how to be more productive. Obviously I’ve gone online to find some tips on how to be more productive, which led to me falling off the wagon even before I got onto it. But nonetheless, I’ve found some handy tips on how to be more productive which, should I stick to them, may just help me get my wish.

  • Get up earlier. Well I could do that I suppose, but I already get up at 6am. Maybe I’ll skip this one.
  • Prioritise my to-do list. I usually have a detailed to-do list. It covers everything from making an appointment for the dog at the vet to buying milk and eggs. The experts say that I should prioritise this list. I can do that
  • Remove distractions. Well now it all depends on what you call a distraction. If checking my email every five minutes and jumping onto Facebook and Twitter are called distractions then I have already failed miserably. Maybe I can limit the number of times I check my social networking sites to say three times a day? I have a feeling that I may have some problems with this one.
  • Stay focused. When I do research, I will only go to the relevant pages and not the ones that look like they may be fun to read. I recon I can double my working hours in a day if I can get this right.
  • Make sure I’ve saved all my files in one place – an online safe place, like or Amazon’s cloud. The excuses of sorry I’ve forgotten to print that document out or I can’t believe I’ve left my USB stick at my home office will all be in the past.

If I was working in an office with colleagues around me I’d have started an office pool about how long I will stick to these. Instead I’ve bought a piggy bank. Every time I don’t stick to the guidelines, I drop a 50p through the hole. It’s already a third full and we’ve not reached the end of January yet.


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