I’m going to go out on a limb here and state what I think will be some of the biggest productivity trends for 2016. Please bear in mind that all opinions are my own and I am not sponsored for any of these but I’d like to think I kind of know what I’m talking about…. so here we go – and if there are any extra things you should add please let us know in the comments!
Marie Kondo Will Take Over The World
If you’ve been in a coma for the last year you will have probably missed the phenomenon that is Marie Kondo and her book “The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up” (affiliate link) which revolutionised a lot of people’s take on cleaning and tidying. It’s certainly changed the way I sort my socks and tee-shirts out in a good way – read my review here.
Why have I picked Kondo as a game changer for 2016? Well, she’s just released a new book. I have bought a copy but I’ve not read it yet but I can tell you it looks gorgeous. It’s one of those books that I don’t think I want to read in case I ruin it. The focuses on the entire tidying process and is bound to be the next big phenomenon this year in terms of organisation.
You can also check out her follow up book “Spark Joy” (affiliate link)
Paper-Based To-Dos and Calendars Are The New Old Thing
I might be a bit biased because I’ve started using a paper-based calendar to organise my life – if you use Google Calendar you can print out a pocket planner here.
Either way, from what I’ve been seeing on the internet with all the “Plan With Me” You Tube videos and the like, paper planning is the new form of planning so it’s something to get used to (again!). Dust off your FiloFaxes Eighties peeps…!
Bullet Journals Are The New “GTD”
I haven’t tried this myself yet as I’m still playing around with my paper-based calendars and task lists but a lot of people towards the end of 2015 were going mad for “Bullet Journalling“. It’s a simple system of bullet types based on task type and status.
I’ve written a comprehensive guide which you can access below
Or if you don’t want to read, you can watch the video below – it seems a bit confusing at first but once you try it it’ll make sense I’m sure!
Micro Savings Are The Way Forward
I’ve just recently come across the concept of what I term as “Micro Savings”. In the past – spurred on my my bank’s online “savings goal” accountability section – I was asked what I wanted to save for and how much I would save per month. Every time I log into my online banking it shows me how badly I’m doing at my task and rather as being a “positive” reinforcement in that I think “I must save more or I won’t reach my goal” I actually think “I’m not going to reach my goal so I may as well spend any money I’ve saved”
We may only just be into February but I’m still sticking with the 365 penny challenge as mentioned in my savings post. I’ve found this one really easy to stick to (so far) and if I haven’t had the correct amount of money to put in (for example 26 pence on the 26th January) I’ve put it 40 pence so I’m over. I’ve not used this as an excuse not to put in the next day either but I know if I keep doing it I should be well over the $670 dollars you’re expected to save.
Why is this easier? Putting away $5 a week, or $50 a month doesn’t seem to work for me. The minute I log into my online banking, the amount I have saved is there and it’s far too easy to move it to my current account or pay bills with it. It may sound cheesy, but putting money in a tin reminds me of my saving methods when I was a kid – you put it in the tin but you can’t take it out. And there’s something rewarding of feeling the physical weight of the money I’ve saved. Plus only saving what amounts to a few pence per day (I’ll need to save 34p today and 35p tomorrow etc.) makes it a lot more manageable than saving larger amounts of cash.
I predict that 2016 will see people start saving smaller amounts more often
I’m putting this here as a prediction that I’m hoping it will come true – or more common than it currently is. Over the past few years employers have begun to see the bonus of offering employees flexibility in their workplace schedules and I’d like to see this trend continue.
I’m not talking about the flexibility that’s given to parents so that they can (quite rightly) take their kids to the doctors or leave work early to go an see a school play, I’m referring to the fact that everyone – parent or not – occasionally has something they need to do that may require a level of allowance in working hours. If an employer is flexible with the employee then it’s more likely that the employee will be willing to help out in the future when there’s a shift needed to be covered or they need to work late.
Being Able To Speak Up
Over the past few years, more and more people have been voicing opinions on companies and their practices anonymously though social media or third party organisations. I now think that companies are realising that not listening to their employees and giving them some form of a voice can ultimately be more damaging that sitting them down and listening to – and investigating – their grievances.
In the wake of a multitude of corporate scandals it’s now more acceptable to speak up rather than suffer in silence I think this trend will continue and those that are airing views about a company will actually be listened to as part of good business practices rather than being ignored.
Understand The Idea Of A Fake Deadline
Some people love to make themselves seem overly important, this is usually done by inflating their own sense of importance and passing on fake deadline to you. Hopefully 2016 will be the year that you realise that these deadlines are arbitrary and just made to make someone else look good if a) you get it done on time or b) you fail.
2016 should be the year of checking how important stuff really is and if the deadline has been decided by the correct stakeholders.
“No” Is The New “Yes”
Following on from fake deadlines, it’s important to realise that we can also say “No” to people asking us to do something. Too often we agree to do something because it’s easier not to rock the boat by saying no, or that saying yes will somehow make our lives easier when in fact it causes more problems.
I think this year should be the year that we only agree to do thinks that we want to do, or will benefit us (whether that be spiritually, financially or in terms of relationships that’s up to you).
It’s Okay To “Turn Off”
It’s becoming increasingly obvious that we’re too over-connected. Our phones beep at us 24-7, they receive notifications from our email as well as text messages, Instagram likes and Twitter Interactions. Our cars can read out our messages and e-mails and these are all touted as a great productivity enhancement but in order to be productive we need some me time whether that be to lay in the bath and read a book or just take a walk without the fear of our phones going off – everyone needs a bit of peace and quiet sometimes.
I’ve recently taken to keeping my phone on silent (all the time!) and I’ll be sharing my thoughts on this soon but my one big take-away is that if your phone beeps you don’t have to run for it straight away.
We Are However “Always On” – And Individuality Is Lost
In 2016 we will be ebracing the “always on” culture more. As more and more devices come pre-loaded with internet connections and connectivity to the “world wide web” whilst we try to switch off in some respects, we’ll be always on in others.
The next couple of years will see a great improvement in household productivity. Thanks to the Internet Of Things, you can scan your empty carton of milk and your fridge will notify the grocery store to add some to your weekly order. This is fantastic in that it saves you time each week figuring out what you need to buy, but it also takes away some of the autonomy of deciding whether you want milk that week or not.
As T.V’s become “smarter” and record programs they think we might like, and our heating becomes controlled by remote – either our own or the company who supplies us – more and more personal choice is being eroded so we need to remember that whilst this new technology may seem like a great idea, we’re the ones still in charge.
Over To You
Have I missed something that you think will be the next big thing in productivity? Let us know in the comments below!