Being more productive sounds super simple, but we all know it’s not. Finding motivation can be relatively easy at some points but most of the time we struggle. There’s so many different things you can do to try and increase motivation, but here are a few things that I’m working towards as we enter into 2021 to keep myself productive and motivated.
Curate a morning routine
Curating a morning routine isn’t just to ensure you get everything done in the morning, it’s a great way to motivate yourself and give you a reason to get out of bed in the first place. I tend to carry out a few Ayurvedic rituals in the morning, so for me I oil pull and drink a litre of water, brush my teeth, do yoga and have breakfast. Having this routine is key for me to feel good and give myself time to wake up, but it also gives me a purpose and reason to get up. When I had no routine, or if I have a day off yoga at the weekend, I can just lay in bed until the afternoon and there’s nothing persuading me to get motivated. If you don’t currently have a routine, put one together and try and put it into practise! Planning what you’re going to do in the morning will get you excited and will help motivation flow. If a routine isn’t for you, maybe just plan to have a really yummy breakfast or that once you’re up you will allow yourself to watch your favourite TV show. Anything to spark that motivation is good enough and it builds from these changes into a a solid and reliable motivational flow!
Prioritise your tasks
Getting tasks done that are really important mean that when you lose momentum or you need to take a break, the most important things are already done! Facing the hardest or biggest task first is so daunting and can be a struggle, but if you get into the habit of starting on the biggest task first it will change your life! I make a to-do list every evening, or sometimes I do this at the start of the week until Friday and ensure that my biggest task of the day is scheduled in straight away. Not only does it get everything you probably don’t want to do, or the things that take the most time out of the way, it makes you feel empowered by ticking off big tasks and everything else that follows feels quicker and easier. There’s nothing more motivating than getting these things done!
Don’t keep adding more work to your to-do list and Schedule in me-time and social time
Once you’re done with your day don’t feel that you have to keep working and working because your home is now your workplace. Create a divide between the two and just as you would schedule in meetings and zoom calls, schedule in me-time and whatever social time you are safely able to do. I feel incredibly guilty if I’m shutting down my computer to take a bath, watch Netflix or read a book even when it’s 8pm and I’ve been working all day long. Because there’s nothing going on and no social events scheduled in, I feel like work and sitting at my desk is the only option which just so isn’t the case. I feel bad for spending time on myself and constantly think there should be something more important for me to spend my time on. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way so the answer is scheduling in this time. That way you anticipate it, you know it’s coming, you can work towards your deadlines and work through your task list ahead of this scheduled time so you have literally nothing to feel guilty about. No time is wasted time if you’ve spent time doing what you had planned to do.
Utilise planners, journals and digital planning resources
I’ve been a sucker for diaries and journals since I was tiny. I love to write list after list of tasks, thoughts and plans and to be honest, I could spend the same amount of time planning as I could to just get my work done in the first place. Using a diary or a journal specifically for planning and motivation really helps me to keep focus and to break down my task list in a way that is realistic and do-able.
Because most of us live in an online and digital world, physical planners aren’t everybody’s jam, which is where digital planners and schedules are essential. I use Trello and absolutely love it. I have separate boards for different projects which means I’m able to create lists and tick them off when they’re complete. Getting rid of them from my list means they’re not only gone from my boards, but gone from my mind. It’s such a great tool, especially for those people who like to watch their task lists disappear. If you don’t currently plan your time, try it! It might just be the motivation you need!
Rewarding ourselves and allowing treats and personal time is such a great motivator. Just like with getting yourself up with the thought of a fun breakfast or exciting workout routine, you can aim for a glass of wine on a Friday, a takeaway at the weekend, a full day off when your tasks are complete or even just a bubble bath. Whatever motivates you, use as a way to encourage productivity and motivation.