The holidays are over and we have officially begun a new decade.

At the beginning of a new year, I’m a big fan of creating a space for growth because I believe that I’m making the best effort to set myself up for success. There are a few tips that I’ve been working on that I want to share with you as we begin 2020.

Declutter

Clutter holds us back and doesn’t let us be near as productive as we would like, so that’s why it’s important to get rid of unwanted physical and mental junk. Clean up your desk so you feel good about coming into a clean workspace every morning. Not only will it make you feel better, but you’ll be more productive and not get bogged down looking at stacks of papers and other junk you don’t need.

The same goes for mental clutter. We fill our minds with thoughts about the past and other situations that are out of our control. This benefits us in no way. Quit thinking about the past and really focus on what you want to accomplish today, this week, month, or year. That you can control.

Say “No”

I’ll be honest, this is a tough one for me, but it’s important to learn to say NO when you need to. I want to help as many people as possible, but we simply can’t be and do everything for everyone.

There’s nothing wrong with helping out when you can, but you shouldn’t be sacrificing your own growth and productivity in the process.

Revisit your routines

Daily routines create balance in your days and helps you make the most of your time. If you feel like your productivity is lacking and you don’t have enough time to get what you want done, revisit your routines to see where you can make some changes.

As we leave and enter different stages of our lives, our days and schedules will change, so it’s important to constantly be evaluating your routines so you can always maximize your time and give yourself the space to be creative.

Understand how to be happy

Happiness is a choice and choosing to have a positive outlook can have a huge effect on your everyday life. If your life feels arbitrary, there is a simple way for you to feel more in control.

Spend some time determining your core values and beliefs. Use them as your filter to live by.

Quit something every Thursday

This is something I learned from Bob Goff and I think it’s brilliant. On Thursday, or any other day of the week, look for things that don’t add value to your day and quit it. That’s 52 things you can quit and replace with something better and more productive every year!

Now you might be thinking that you don’t have that many things in your life to quit, but I think it’s amazing the things you can find each week if you simply look for them. We all have little things that we could easily cut out of our days if we take a step back and think about them.

This year I’m personally working on finding more space in my life to be more creative simply because it’s where I find a ton of joy and is where growth happens for me. I wish you all the best this year and would love to hear your ideas on how you plan to grow and be more creative in 2020.

About the Author

John Donnelly is an Executive Director of Sales for Service First Mortgage and is a Vice President of the company. He holds over 20 years of experience in the mortgage industry, in a variety of roles including Loan Officer, Producing Branch Manager and Vice President of Branch Operations. He joined Service First Mortgage in 2009 as a Regional Manager and earned Regional Manager of the Year in 2011 and 2012. In 2013, he received the designation as one of the 40 Most Influential Mortgage Professionals by National Mortgage Professional Magazine.

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