Do you ever have days where you are so unmotivated that you just don’t want to do anything, whether it’s working, cooking, or anything else you do throughout your days? Sometimes we fall into a slump and it makes it so difficult to be productive. When I get into a rut, it’s normally because of my depression and anxiety, and it really messes me up. I am a person who always has to keep busy or I feel like I have wasted my day because I didn’t get my to-do list done. However, all is not lost. I have found some productivity tips that help me push through when I don’t feel motivated to do anything.
Setting intentions for what you want to accomplish is the key to being productive and living intentionallyAnatole France
Preparation is so important. Every evening before I go to bed, I plan out what I am going to do the next day. I also sit down for ten-fifteen minutes every Sunday to plan out my week. I include the tasks I want to get done and what I have to do throughout the week, such as classes, meetings, phone calls, and appointments. Although these may change, I have a fair idea in my head of how my week will go, so I can make a general plan.
You don’t need to buy an expensive planner to be organized. Using a simple notebook, or even having a binder with printed pages, will help you so much! Rather than buy one of the more popular planners, I created my own. It works for me, is very functional, and has everything I need inside my binder. I made some of the planner spreads myself, but I get most of them for free from Simply Stacies Blog. Having a planner can really help with organization and knowing exactly what needs to be done. It took me a long time of trying and testing out many planners, both physically and digitally, to find what works for me. So take your time and find what works for you.
Distraction Free Zone
Distractions are your worst enemy, especially when you are trying to be productive. The best way to get through this is remove yourself from distractions. This means turning off your phone, or putting it on silent, turning off the television, or even just getting some work done when the kiddies are in bed asleep.
Be careful not to get sidetracked by other chores. It can be so easy to start something and become distracted by another task, turning into a vicious circle that continues until the end of the day. Soon enough, you realize you got nothing done. Sticky notes are a lifesaver for the easily distracted. When something comes up that needs to get done but can wait, I write it down to remind myself that it needs to get done once I have my to-do list completed.
It takes time for our brains to focus on the task at hand, and if we don’t pay attention, it takes even longer to finish.
Think back to when you were last productive. Try and recreate that day so you can become productive just like you were at that time. Did you have music playing? Were you at home, in a cafe or in the library? What can you do to recreate that productive day?
Get The Hard Stuff Out Of The Way
When something is hard we tend to put it off until we don’t have time to complete it. It constantly gets pushed forward and never get it done. The best way to deal with this struggle is to tackle the tasks you are dreading first before moving on to things you enjoy doing. I always find it so motivating to cross things off on my to-do list. Get those endorphins pumping by crossing off the hardest of your completed tasks first!
Don’t Overwhelm Yourself With A Huge To Do List
Have you ever looked at your to-do list and think “I’m never going to get through this”? I have done this more times than I can count. It’s very discouraging when you can’t complete your list. The best advice that I can give is to choose three to five tasks for the day, complete those and then add something else to your planner one at a time. Don’t overload yourself right off the bat!
Take A Break After Each Task
Completing a task can be tiring so it’s important that you take care of yourself by taking a 15-20 minute break in between. This is also a great time to have a quick snack if you are feeling hungry, and maybe to check your phone.
“A year from now you may wish you had started today”Karen Lamb
Giving yourself a deadline gives you the motivation to get your tasks done. When setting deadlines, it’s important to be realistic with them. You don’t want to underestimate how long it takes you to complete this task and then feel disappointed because you didn’t complete it in time. Being realistic with your deadlines can help you feel good about yourself when you finish on time! Be sure to look at your schedule before setting deadlines to make sure you have time to work on your goals and if you are comfortable with the time frame.
Figure Out When You Are Most Productive
Are you more productive in the morning or evening time? Are you a busy mum unable to get work done until the kids are in bed, or are you a person who gets up early and gets everything done straight away? Work on your to-do list when you are most productive, no matter what time of day it is. There’s no point in trying to be productive in the afternoons if you are exhausted after work or a day with kids. You won’t get anything done and again it will make you feel even worse. Just be sure you are following your schedule and working toward your deadlines.
Being productive takes time, especially if you aren’t big on planning and organizing. It will take you some time to find out what works best for you, when you are most productive, and what distracts you while trying to be productive. My advice would be to try a few different ways and see which works best for you, focus on you and try and figure out what makes you productive and how you work!
About The Author…
Anne is from Ireland who is now made a huge move across the world to New Zealand. She is also an assistant at Quiet Nonsense and runs her own blog www.foreverthewanderer.ie with topics including travel, mental health and so much more. Anne dreams of/ is working towards becoming a professional blogger.