New Year’s Resolution: 100 Days of Productivity
#100DaysofProductivity is a hashtag that first went viral a couple of years ago and has since become a popular way to kick off each new year. The concept is simple: just do something productive every day and post a photo of it to document your process. After 100 days, you’ll be surprised at how much you’ve accomplished.
Sounds easy, right? Well, here’s the thing about resolutions: they’re easy to make, but they can be difficult to keep. How many times in the past have you told yourself you were going to do something awe-inspiring in the New Year, just to let your ambitions drift away after a couple of dull January weeks? It can happen to anyone, but it doesn’t have to. The trick is to stay organized.
Sometimes creating a plan to help achieve your goals is the hardest part—but don’t worry; we’re here to help. Below is our complete guide to setting up, starting, and actually finishing the 100 Days of Productivity Challenge.
Getting Started (One Week Before Challenge)
Before you jump into the challenge, you might want to spend some time thinking about your goals. Lots of people interpret the challenge as doing any productive thing on a daily basis, whether it’s cleaning, studying, or even just reading a book. However, you may find greater satisfaction if you think specifically about what productivity means for you and your life.
- Is there a passion project you’ve always wanted to finish, like a novel or a screenplay?
- Are you trying to start your own business, or make progress with your side-hustle? If so, you may want to tailor your tasks to fit these ambitions.
- Do you want to move up in the ranks of your team, and earn more responsibility?
You might also want to log your progress in an online journal or advocacy group. Posting on social media can sometimes feel a bit casual, which makes it easy to forget a day—but the more official you make the challenge feel, the more likely you will be to follow through.
Days 1-10: Small Changes First
You don’t want to tire yourself out in the first few days, or you’ll never finish. Blogger Mariana Vieira recommends small changes first. She encourages participants to think of their first few tasks as simple “routine-breakers” that help them adjust to doing something productive every day. Spend 10 minutes brainstorming in your notebook, or order some new business cards.
Days 11-20: Spend More Time Each Day
If you’ve made it to this point, you can probably afford to become a bit more ambitious. By now, you’ve probably laid the groundwork for larger endeavors—maybe you have some concept sketches for new products, or an idea of what you want your website to look like. Now that you’re used to the routine, start taking a little more time each day to detail your plans.
Days 21-30: Check in on Results
At this point, you’ll be nearing the end of your first productive month. That said, you’ll probably want something to show for all of your hard work, so make sure the tasks you choose during this period will produce tangible results. If you’ve been redesigning your website, it might be time to purchase the domain and make it public.
Days 31-40: New Goals
After your first month, you’ll probably have at least one venture on the go that requires continued maintenance and attention. Now is the time to reset your goals. If it’s your website, you’ll probably want to blog so that you can increase traffic. Set daily goals for yourself based on what you know you can handle. You don’t necessarily have to finish an entire post (or chapter) every day. Try giving yourself a word-count or schedule a certain amount of time for your project each day if it doesn’t involve writing.
Days 41-50: Do More Each Day, To See More Later
As you approach the halfway mark, it’s easy to become tired—but don’t give up! Khoa Bui of YouBeRelentless reminds us that results are never immediate. You don’t get to 100k YouTube subscribers by posting a single video; you get there by posting a single video everyday for months. He defines success as “a combination of many completions all focused towards a common goal”.
Days 51-60: Make Improvements
Congratulations! You’re more than halfway through the challenge now, so the hardest part is already well behind you. At this point, you should be used to spending an hour or so out of each day on a project you care about—and more importantly, you should be seeing results. Maybe your blog traffic is up, or your manuscript is starting to look pretty thick. Now it’s time to start making improvements. If you are working with a team, be conscience of how their feedback can help you improve.
Days 61-70: Go Back To The Beginning
The more work you finish, the more you learn about what you can do differently. Try adding in a few minutes each day to look at something you’ve already completed and evaluate it. Think about what is working, and what isn’t—then use that information to make your current tasks tighter and more efficient. Bloggers: what are your most effective keywords? Novelists: what are the narrative threads you need to start tying up? If you are working with a team or a partner, ask for feedback. You’ll want to spend the last month or so of your challenge tying up loose ends, so this is the perfect time to gain perspective.
Days 71-80: Reach A Milestone
Most of the 100 Days of Progress Challenge is process-oriented, but in the last month you’ll want to focus on completion. Finish that draft. Create your 50th blog post. Mix and master the album. You’ll want to put the finishing touches on your project in the earliest days of your final month so that you can work on sharing and promoting it during the final stretch.
Days 81-90: Expand Your Network
Now that your hard work has paid off, it’s time to reap the rewards—but first you have to make people take notice. If you’ve been working on something big, you may want to spend your penultimate 10 day period networking. Spend a day researching contacts in your industry, then reach out to a few of them each day with pitches. Sometimes they’ll reply and ask you to send samples of your work. Other times, they’ll want to meet for coffee so that they can get to know you a little better. On the other hand, you might not hear anything at all—but don’t be discouraged. Just keep at it, and remember: you’ve come a long way.
Days 91-100: Finish Strong
If you’ve made it this far, you should have no problem at all finishing up the challenge. Whatever you’ve been working on for this long will most likely have become a priority in your life, which means it will be creating its own responsibilities for you to handle. The ball will already be rolling—you’ll just have to keep it on track. Congratulations: you’ve managed to make real progress on something important to you, and you’ve probably improved your work habits as a result!
The 100 Days of Productivity Challenge can help as a resource, but it doesn’t have to be your only resource. Try doing the challenge with a partner who can help hold you to your goals, and don’t be afraid to use technology. If you are doing this challenge alone or with a business team, project management tools like the Gryffin App can help you set tasks for yourself in advance, so that you go into each week knowing exactly what your goals are for each day. Remember: the more you organize, the better your chances of achieving something truly remarkable in 100 days will be.