Disclaimer: I’m not a productive person.
I would rather spend the day watching old episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine and feel guilty about it than write this blog post. While I believe that watching Netflix and taking afternoon naps are great self-care practices that we should all indulge in, I wanted to find ways that would help me make better use of my time.
I have a goal, and when we have a goal that we want to achieve, we’ll stop at nothing. But sometimes, we do … just … stop. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to stay motivated all the time, and finding that sweet spot between motivation and productivity can be difficult.
While I do believe that “productivity is a deeply personal thing;” for example, waking up at 4:30am to complete a task is NOT going to work for me, but it might for you, I wanted to find techniques that could benefit as many people as possible.
Here are three ways I’ve managed to stay productive this month…
This is a great time management technique that breaks your day up into 25-minute segments with 5-minute breaks. The idea is to get as much done in 20-minutes as you can and then take a 5-minute break. These segments are called pomodoros, and after around four pomodoros, it’s time to take a longer break of about 15 to 20 minutes.
Instead of feeling like you’ve got all the time in the world, this technique helps create a sense of urgency when completing tasks. As a professional procrastinator, this has saved me from spending too much time on distractions, and it reminds you to step away from the computer and take a breath.
The bullet journal is a multi-purpose organizational system and is great for anyone looking for more than just a notebook to write your to-do lists. If used correctly, it can be used to track your entire life *dum dum duuum*. It’s the perfect tool to customize to your needs and can be used as a journal, planner, sketchbook or a place to write your goals.
The best thing about this system is that you don’t have to buy a bullet journal, but can simply purchase a blank notebook and create your spread. Starting with a monthly spread is a great way to keep track of your to-dos and goals throughout the month. To help you stay on top of things, use various symbols to identify different tasks. For example, a small triangle could mean an important task, or a circle could indicate an event.
I love being able to keep track of all my goals throughout the month, and it’s always great to go back and check if you’ve achieved them. If you need more inspiration, check out the #bujo hashtag.
A Good Morning Routine:
I know I started this post with “not everyone is built the same”, but never underestimate the power of a good morning routine. Take control of your mornings and establish a routine that gets you pumped and motivated for a productive day. Create a routine that aims to develop your spiritual and intellectual side and create habits that improve the quality of your life.
Here are two of my favorites:
- Podcasts: Listening to a podcast is a great way to inspire you in the mornings. I love listening to spiritual and self-development podcasts since I’ve found that it gets me pumped for the day ahead. There are tons of great podcasts to choose from, so choose one that sends your belly on fire (in a good way) and gets you ready to smash your goals.
- Meditating: It’s a popular choice when it comes to morning routines, but I’d kick myself if I didn’t mention it again. My mind’s a cluttered space, and with so much on my mind when I wake up in the morning, sitting down and focusing on my breath is a great way to focus and start working on my goals for the day. Headspace and Insight Timer are both great if you’re looking for guided meditations and grounding.
Multi-tasking is a myth. There is no way you can send emails, write a blog post, talk to your boss over text and feed yourself at the same time without shoving a pen down your throat and calling your boss babe(yikes!). Productivity and diligence only come when you’re paying attention to a single task and giving it your all.
Create a list of tasks that need to be completed and prioritize them accordingly. Prioritizing a task stops us from winging it throughout the day, and can cause us to lose focus, making it easier to succumb to distractions. Make sure you create your to-dos the night before, prioritizing them and getting straight into it the minute you’re ready.
Got any good ways you stay productive? Don’t forget to share it in the comments below!