How to Be More Productive in 2016

December 31, 2015, 2:00 PM UTC
Courtesy of Dot &Bo.

The Leadership Insider network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in business contribute answers to timely questions about careers and leadership. Today’s answer to the question: What’s your New Year’s resolution? is written by Anthony Soohoo, cofounder and CEO of Dot & Bo.

The impending arrival of a New Year always holds a promising fresh start. From resolving to finally translate your business idea into a reality to being more mindful during daily interactions, it is a time of renewed inspiration—both personally and professionally. As cofounder and CEO of a fast-growing startup, Dot & Bo, I’m constantly setting new goals on a weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis throughout the year, and the start of 2016 will be no exception.

It’s worthwhile to note that very few people actually succeed in accomplishing their resolutions, primarily because the goals set are either too unrealistic or not specific enough. While it’s great to have lofty aspirations, unless you have an insatiable drive to execute on your resolutions, your ambition will inevitably fizzle out. Keeping that in mind, here are four resolutions that I’m committing myself to in 2016:

See also: How to Be More Successful in 2016

Allocate a significant portion of my time for observation

Leaders often make the mistake of continually executing or “doing” something rather than just observing. This year, I plan to consciously set aside half of each day to observe and listen to Dot & Bo’s internal processes and business operations. From listening in on customer support calls to swinging by engineering meetings, viewing our workflow with fresh eyes will enable me to more quickly identify areas for improvement and opportunities that could have a major impact on our brand in the long run.

Eat dinner with my family three times during the workweek

You simply can’t reclaim time. The ability to analyze purchase data and come up with new strategies to better serve your customer will always be there, but sitting down for a meal with your family and helping your kids with their homework won’t. As a leader, I want to set a positive example for work-life balance with my employees, too. We’re building a team of technologists, marketers, and creative thinkers who enjoy coming to work and collaborating each day. When employees are overworked, productivity and morale inevitably take a nosedive. No one wins.

See also: What Everyone Gets Wrong About Giving to Charity

Attend no more than two conferences a year

Spoiler alert: Outside of a select few, many business conferences simply are not worth the time or expense. I understand the case for networking and I have made invaluable connections at events, but between the travel time and being out of the office, attending more than two conferences a year can be unproductive. I find that a better use of my time is to build relationships with other entrepreneurs and executives by reaching out to trade ideas and discuss the current landscape of business and technology as a whole.

Keep grinding each day

Every entrepreneur faces his or her share of ups and downs, but it’s ultimately about how you push through these challenges and the wisdom you gain from the experience. Growing a company is a tumultuous process of constant iteration, but the sum of which can add up to something special with the ability to transform your respective industry forever.

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