2023 Agent Trends: Tools for Your Business in the New Year
If you’re anything like me, the beginning of a new year arrives with a sense of personal relief and renewal. On the first of January, you wake up feeling refreshed, free from the weight of the past year and ready to make the most out of the blank canvas spread out before you. Unless you’ve stayed up too late the night before, of course.
Unfortunately for many of us, we’re self-aware enough to realize that this feeling eventually fades away. But with renewed focus and an emphasis on taking one step at a time, you can make meaningful changes to your habits and routines this year.
With a steady eye on new trends, strategies, and perspectives, we can arm ourselves with the tools necessary for us to meet our professional resolutions for 2023.
(Which you will. Because you’ve totally got this.)
Look into new and updated technology.
These days, there really is an app for everything. Need an organized platform for your goals and to-do list? Apps such as Asana, Basecamp, GoalsonTrack, and Canva have you covered. Other online tools such as Grammarly and Omnifocus can help with communication and efficiency. There’s no shortage of helpful apps and platforms available for us to meet our business goals— and perhaps most critically for increasing our productivity in the new year— help supplement the time we spend on administrative tasks.
While on the subject of technology, the start of the new year also provides a powerful opportunity to refresh our online presence. There’s rarely a better time to finally create or update your professional website or LinkedIn account.
In addition to incorporating new and flashy online tools into your routine, business owners may also want to take this time to invest in improved digital security and privacy tools. Between updating an old password, backing up important files in a secure location, and becoming more aware of phishing scams, don’t forget that every new technological leap forward is accompanied by more and more people willing to take advantage of these tools with ill intent.
Refresh your office equipment.
Stepping out of the digital space, a thoughtful refresh and reorganization of your physical workspace may help inspire a renewed sense of motivation. As many of us continue work from our homes, we sometimes don’t even consciously realize when our years-old furniture and décor no longer inspire any deep feelings aside than boredom.
Whether a refresh of your workspace includes a new desk, computer, or 6-foot tall beanbag chair, keep yourself open to new additions that not only help with productivity but also grant a sense of personal joy and comfort. After all, those feelings are motivating factors in their own right.
Prioritize time management practices.
A fully productive work week looks different to different people. Depending on our personal scope of projects and responsibilities, some of us work most effectively with an even spread of projects throughout the week, while others alternate between heavy and light workloads on separate days.
Regardless of which type of schedule works best for you, proper time management is the most critical element to staying productive. If you feel as though you didn’t accomplish as much as you did in the past year, now may be the time to consider new ways for you to maximize your output and experiment with different schedules and routines.
Personally, I mark each hour of the workday before I clock in and either set achievable goals that can be accomplished within 60 minutes, or dedicate multiple hours for work on larger assignments. Depending on the day, I don’t always accomplish these goals, but working within a framework is helpful for staying on track and not rushing through projects.
My own personal framework won’t work for everyone, but I feel as though most of us can agree that we’re all more productive when we perceive the passage of time as a tool we can use to better leverage our schedules, not something that we should struggle against.
Integrate mental and physical wellness into your routine.
While many of us associate the word “burnout” with the pandemic era, mental wellness and healthy work boundaries are priorities we should all continue to respect moving forward. As we get caught up in the possibilities and opportunities of the new year, remember that ‘working harder’ and ‘working more effectively’ are two separate things.
Don’t sacrifice your mental and physical wellness in service of meeting your professional goals and new year’s resolutions. Rather, work toward finding a new way to balance time spent on productivity with time spent on the things that give your life meaning and purpose (or, find meaning and purpose while working!).
Many of us fall short of our plans for the new year because of the immense pressures we place on ourselves to meet a certain set of standards. At the end of the day, don’t lose sight of the tools, schedules, and routines that work best for you and your business in search of the perfect productivity solutions.
In the early weeks and months of the new year, 2023 may feel like a clean slate, but rather than reinventing your old habits and routines completely, lean into what has worked for you in the past. Prioritize small improvements over grand, sweeping changes. If we all treat the new year as a marathon, not a race, then perhaps those feelings of renewal and possibility will last us well into 2023.