How to set yourself up for a productive new year


It’s the start of a New Year and everyone is looking to kick off 2023 on the right foot. Whether you work in the office, or from home, everyone can relate to the importance of creating a productive work environment. So what tactics can you put in place at the start of the year to set yourself up for a productive 2023? We’ve got suggestions on healthy habits to implement into your day to day, tools to help bring automation into your business, and some unique ideas on recreating your space.

Wake up early and start your day with a plan.

How you start your morning can set the pace for your entire day. We’ve all had those mornings when something frustrating happens, and you can’t help but think, ‘is this how today is going to go?’. To  start your day on the intended path, we recommend waking up early and mapping out your daily schedule. Studies show that early risers are more proactive, and people who function from a proactive mindset are more equipped to handle challenges. Instead of waiting for direction on next steps, proactive thinkers anticipate problems and provide solutions, leading to more success in business.

When planning out your day it’s important to ask yourself: when do you feel the most productive? Everyone has different times of day that they feel they’re most alert and engaged. Scheduling working hours during highly productive timeframes will help you to maximize productivity and get tasks complete with minimal interruption. When scheduling your working hours for the day, make sure you also schedule your breaks. Taking breaks throughout the day and doing something to improve your overall well-being, will drive more efficiency during working hours and lead to a more productive work day. 

Tip: limit the amount of time you work on each task. This will actually increase efficiency and avoid spending more time than required on projects and tasks. 

Use technology to automate recurring tasks. 

If you’re looking to be more productive during your work day, utilize available technology tools. There are countless apps out there that can assist in providing ease to your day, and even perform the role of an employee without having to add the additional headcount. Whether you’re looking to project manage a large group or even automate reminders, there are many tools available to complete these actions for you.

Introducing technology tools into your business can help to increase employee productivity, as manual mundane tasks can now be automated. StarGarden's HR solution brings efficiency to your business that expands throughout your entire organization, and brings many benefits: 

  • StarGarden HCM 5.0: an integrated HCM system means you only need one system to hire and manage your employees. This tool allows you to post jobs, enroll employees in training programs to manage their skillset, and has Payroll systems that integrate with automated time clocks to ensure accurate payment for employees every time. 
  • StarGarden Workflow Toolset: our Workflow manager provides HR automation solutions that help create web based workflows for Business Process Management. Users can collaborate with both internal and external resources, set up automatic notifications for tasks and deadlines, and create and assign tasks to your team all at the click of a button.   

There are many benefits in HR professionals exploring technology tools, and actioning new processes for their use. However, before any new tools are introduced it's important that you first evaluate the need for automation in your processes. When implemented correctly, these tools will save employees' time so they can focus on business initiatives that require critical thinking.

Give your office (home office included!) a refresh. 

Now everyone does the usual desk clean out when entering into a new year. However, there are a few other notable office refreshes we’d recommend to set yourself up for productivity. Whether you’re working from the office or from home, we can all agree that your desk is your staple. So why not choose one that benefits you? Using a standing desk is a great way to feel more energized throughout your work day. A study showed that employees who used a standing-desk had a 46% increase in productivity, and the level of productivity continued to grow as time moved on. 

A great habit to adopt in the new year is to change your working space to accommodate tasks and projects. If you’re working on a collaborative project then you may be seeking out an environment surrounded by your team and filled with discussion. However, if you’re doing research for an article you may prefer a quieter private space. Changing your environment based on the task at hand, helps to enhance your focus and avoid mid-afternoon slumps that can be caused by staying stagnant. An interesting tip we adopted from the startup world is to install casters at the bottom of desks. This makes reconfiguring a breeze, and also encourages collaboration in the office amongst teams. 

As we transition into this hybrid world, some employees may prefer working from the comfort of their own home. If we already know employees have this mindset, why not make the office feel like home? Introduce homey touches, such as greenery, artwork, and even an office lounge area, to make the office feel more comfortable for employees. This can be a communal space that is used for collaborative business meetings or even somewhere for employees to just sit back and relax.

Practice healthy habits.

One of the most important steps in setting yourself up for productivity is practicing healthy habits. As important as it is to prioritize eating healthy throughout the day, the healthy habits we're referring to expand further than just what you eat. We also need to take part in various forms of habits that can assist in creating an environment of productivity.

Distractions throughout the day are common and tend to be the reason behind why a quick task can sometimes take double the amount of time to complete. There’s no way to be completely immune from all distractions, but there is a way to strengthen our minds to be foolproof against minimal distractions that can derail your day. By practicing presence and meditation each day, you’re training your mind to focus on one task, breathing. By doing so, you create the time and space for your mind to ignore everything else other than that one task. This energy can be carried throughout your work day, so that when you’re completing a task you can remain engaged and accomplish it in a reasonable time. 

After sitting at your desk all day, one of the best and most welcomed breaks is one where you get to move your body. It’s been proven that sitting at a desk for long periods of time can cause a number of health concerns. So, it’s important that you find time throughout your day to get moving! One of the most common ways people like to get active during the day is a quick workout. Even a 15 minute workout will improve your mood and productivity for several hours afterward. Not everyone has the time—or the energy—for a workout in the middle of their busy day. That doesn’t mean you need to stay stagnant though. Some other ways to get movement during the day are to stretch at your desk and alternate between sitting and standing so you aren’t staying in one spot for too long.

One of our favourite healthy habits to adopt is walking meetings. Walking meetings allow you to move your body and get outside for some fresh air, all while keeping your day on schedule. You can even take part in this if you’re working from home. Request a phone call instead of a video meeting and get ready to get your steps in!  

Carve out time for networking and professional development.

You should not stop networking once you land a job. There’s a misconception around the idea that networking is only useful when you are searching for a new opportunity. However, continuing to expand your professional circle can unveil all types of opportunities. Connecting with like minded people in your industry and sharing your experiences will strengthen your skill set and improve creative intellect. These are skills that can help to foster growth in your own career path and also keep you top of mind for future opportunities. 


Stats show that 97% of professionals who have a mentor believe the relationship is helpful, but only 37% of professionals have a mentor. You can grow your reach exponentially by working closely with a mentor or someone who has experience in a similar career path. There’s no harm in being choosy with your networking. You don’t have to, nor will you, benefit from networking with absolutely everyone. Do your homework and find people whose knowledge you can learn from and can help to contribute to your success. Networking throughout your career will build long-lasting relationships and a promising career path.  

Bottom Line 

There are many tactics you can implement in your daily routine that will prepare you for a productive year. It's important not to put too much stress on yourself by trying to do all of these things at once. Implementing even one of the above points will set you up for a productive 2023!