Recently, there was a great change in my regime and due to this I have been severely struggling to keep up with my day-to-day tasks. I felt the need to go back to my usual, bullet-proof schedule. As a chronic procrastinator, this have been a challenge for me throughout the years and I know from first hand, it is a problem for many others as well. Due to my long-time experience and fight to transform myself from a chaotic idler to an organized and productive machine, I decided this week to deliver a few of my tips to get a little closer to your goals!
- Morning Routine
In my opinion, the key point to productivity is the way we wake up in the morning. If I don’t start my day in an active way and I kill some time in bed, checking my Instagram or watching a YouTube video or two, there is almost no way I will continue on a different note. Therefore, I try to get out of bed as soon as I wake up and start some activity, so my mind can wake up. This can include simply preparing a breakfast, checking some emails on your laptop or something else of this kind, but what works best for me is training, or at least stretching my body. This energizes me and motivates me for the rest of the day.
The second most important in my morning routine and in my life in general is the quality of the food I consume. The food in our diets should energize us, not make us feel sluggish and tired. Therefore, I try to stick to highly nutritional, but light breakfast, which is not processed, but will keep me full and satisfied. Following this tip gives a head start to my day.
- Daily Goals
The feeling of achievement has a leading role in my productivity. If I did not do anything throughout the day, I feel like I am off-track and I have missed an opportunity.
However, being realistic about the work-relax ratio and your daily capabilities is essential. If you expect too much or too little of yourself through the day will always leave you disappointed. Understanding yourself, your skills and way of work are a great foundation to having more organized days.
The way I keep track of my activities is with an activity calendar, as well as a board with sticky notes, in which I write all of my main goals for the day and rearrange in a change of their progress. But there are many other ways to track your work and plan it. The important part is – to be aware of what needs to be done and list somehow that you have done it. What helps me is putting a green tick on every task that I finish – it is simple, but gives me a sense of achievement.
- Working Space
I have found that my working space affects the quality of my work and my motivation more than anything. I was in the habit of working and reading in my bed – why not, it is comfortable, warm and easy to reach, unlike an office or my desk. However, I discovered that the more I work in this manner, the more problems I encounter when differentiating work and relax. In the nights I could not stop overthinking (even more than usual) and during the days I could never fully focus on my work. I always found something to distract me.
Then I tried to switch, my desk is a much better location for work. But just the plain fact I was at home was giving me the freedom of cheating myself every time. So, for me, the best way to be productive is in the library or at the campus of my university. It is almost like my brain switches to a study-mode when I enter.
Yet, for those who work from home – create a place for yourself in which you feel motivated and inspired to work. Motivational quotes on the wall, some flowers, or shelf of books, anything that will make you comfortable and ready to work is a great idea.
- Working Process
Here you are, passed through every distraction and escaped every trap of your mind, ready to work! Begin! This is a great start to productivity. But keeping your mind on the project is the hardest. A lunch pause, conversation, a chat, Facebook post, some time for checking your friend’s Instagram stories… everything can be in your way. My tip here is simple – be strong. Do not open any of the distractions above, focus all your energy on one thing – completing what you work on. I know it is hard, but you are your own saviour and enemy.
- Organizing and Planning
This one is simple. I work best, when my folders, books or files are well categorized and organized, so I can reach them without spending additional time for research. A no brainer and needs no further explanation.
- Switching and Rotating
Doing the same thing repeatedly can be even more harmful than one day procrastination. Repetition bores the mind. So, it is a great idea to make some changes in your routine when you feel you need it. If they are too big, it may harm your motivation, but things like a new project, a hobby or new plan in your fitness journey can even inspire you.
- Relaxation Time and Good Sleep
After hard work, follows great relaxation. Enjoy your free time and always take time to recover and even rethink your struggles. Do what makes you happy – play some music, watch a movie or read something that will relax you. But most importantly, give yourself an opportunity for great sleep. The road to it is a challenge of itself (which I intent to cover another time), but once you get those much needed 8-10 hours, everything changes.
To sum, following those tips always helps me deal with my lazy and easily distracted personality, but it is also a great way to get back in shape when I get out my usual ways. I hope they can be a valuable addition to your regime as well. Tell me down below if you are going to try any of them and if you have any other trusted methods.