I don’t know about you but from time to time I really have no motivation to do anything. Usually I lack motivation when I have what seems like a never ending list of things to do and no time to conquer this list. I’m forever putting things off like tackling my inbox, taking blog photos or doing the boring adult things I really need to do.
If there was a queen of procrastination then hands down that would be me. If there’s an excuse not to do something or a window of time elsewhere where I could do the mundane or boring tasks that I really don’t want to do, then I’ll put off the task until I have less than 24 hours to do it and I’m running around like a headless chicken.
I’d love to say that I haven’t always been a procrastinator and that adult life has made me this way but that would be a total lie. I have to be in the mood to ‘get stuff done‘ so today I’m going to talk to you about how to beat that inner procrastinator inside and how to actually be productive when motivation is low.
Dress for success
This probably sounds like a silly tip for getting things done but it really does make a difference. I know for a fact that if I’m sitting in my pjs at home trying to be productive that I just can’t focus. As cheesy as it sounds if you’re ‘dressed for success‘ then you’re far more likely to be productive. This is important whether you work from home or in an office, smarter clothing is definitely my go to as I feel like this gets me in the zone and makes me feel more motivated.
Make a list or two
Now you’ve probably heard this a thousand times over but making a list really helps you prioritise the stuff you need to do now over the stuff that can wait. Plus is helps you focus on what you want to achieve. I have countless notebooks and lists for everything and find the ‘notes‘ section on my Iphone particularly useful for when I’m out and about and an idea pops into my head that I don’t want to forget.
Take away distractions
For me I know that if I have a day off and I have lots of non home related things I want to get done then I can’t work in the house. I literally can’t, unless it’s 11pm and a blog post idea pops into my head that I can’t not write down at that moment. Being in my home gives me so many temptations that I’m unable to resist, what with being the procrastinator I am. This is why you’ll often find me in a coffee shop on my day off because I can’t find pointless tasks or distractions and so I’m literally forced to work. I know this may not be financially feasible for everyone, I just know that this works for me.
Plan what you need to do
Sometimes we have things we need to do, and sometimes we have things we want to do. The hard thing is in this day and age finding the time to fit all these tasks into our ever growing schedules. I never used to be a diary person, truth be told I thought it was a thing for ‘elderly people‘ but as I’ve grown up a diary has become invaluable and has even stopped me double booking myself on many occasions. You needn’t spend a fortune on a diary and you really don’t have to spend anything at all if you don’t want to. Most smartphones have a built in diaries that are super easy to use. My diary cost me £1 which I picked up in Poundland, it’s pocket size so I can take it everywhere which means I have no excuse for not knowing what’s on my agenda.
Set yourself goals
Goals, goals, goals. It can all get a little overwhelming can’t it? Being told you need that 5 year plan or your life will be a mess. Or that you should know what you want to be when you grow up and what direction you want your life to head in. Heck, I don’t know what I want to eat on a daily basis let alone where I want to live or what I want to be doing in 5 years time. So rather than setting scary goals when you really don’t know what direction you want to head in why not set yearly, 6 monthly or quarterly goals? These are much more realistic and often easier to stick to as they are more relevant to your life now than a goal 5 years or so in the future. You can read about the goals I set myself for 2018 and how I’m getting on with those so far this year here.
Take small breaks
Whilst many people tend to believe that taking breaks is counterproductive I believe that they can be really helpful if done correctly. You’re probably thinking, how can you take a break wrong? Surely a break is a break? Yes and no. Taking a break could consist of going for a small walk or having a snack. Calling a friend or just doing something for 10-15 minutes to take your mind off what you’ve been working on. On the other hand watching an episode of Netflix or switching on the tv could be a form of break but anything that means you have a break for over 15 minutes makes it rather difficult to get back to what you were doing. Smaller more frequent breaks are usually ideal to give your mind a break and help you keep focused on the task at hand.
Don’t worry if you don’t get everything you plan to done, life happens and we can’t always do everything we plan. Sometimes better opportunities come up and that’s not a bad thing! Maybe you’re already doing some of these things I’ve suggested or maybe you aren’t. I’d love to know what you do to keep productive in the comments below.
Thank you for reading,
Love Saff x
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Thanks for those very useful tips Saffy. I will put them into practice straight away. I promise.
Loved this post!
I have a diary and have found it so helpful to not only keep on track of what I need to do or events I have coming up but I also like to bullet point what I’ve been up to that day. Just to be able to look back and remeber. As I have a memory of a gold fish!
I love the idea of remebering to take small breaks, it is important especially if whats on your TO-DO list requires a lot of concertration.
Great post Saffron