Let me start off by saying that I too, shall be following my own advice. The laziness definitely does get to me, and I catch myself in this cycle of “I want to do it, but I don’t know where to start”. And that has got to stop! Come on now, we can do it together.
Busy ≠ Productive
I would like to self drag here, and say that just because I have a packed schedule doesn’t mean I’m actually being productive. 9/10 it’s poor time management and failing miserably by not prioritising tasks I should be doing. Big yikes.
1. Plan Almost Everything
If you’re like me then you’ll most likely use your bullet journal the night before this. However, another alternative to make planning easier is to just write down a list of what you need to do tomorrow. Bullet journaling though does help a lot in keeping everything in one place. Call it a visual diary if you may.
A rough productivity plan could look like: shower, breakfast, declutter space, lunch break, work, afternoon snack, finish off work, dinner, yoga, shower, night routine, plan and sleep. Also, if you draw boxes which you can tick off when completed, it feels super satisfying and like a pat on the back from you to you.
2. Distractions & Social Media
GET. RID. OF. THEM. PLS.
Not permanently, but only whilst you’re working. Getting rid of distractions is the biggest tool to help you stay productive especially now that we’re more connected than ever. One way I manage to stay off social media and do my work, is using an app called ‘Forest’. What it does is, it allows you to grow trees with it’s ‘deep study mode’ option. In deep study mode a.k.a. no social media, you can grow virtual trees which translate into ‘credits’. Those credits are used by real life people who plant actual trees! So not only are you using the app to stay productive, but you’re also helping the earth by planting more trees.
3. Get Your Priorities Straight
I know this is a difficult one. But going back and looking at your bullet journal/list visually identify what it is you want to achieve by the end of the day or week. It’s all good and well keeping yourself busy, but are you truly being productive, or are you ‘being busy’ as a form of escapism?
Keeping your priorities straight is easier said than done (otherwise you wouldn’t have clicked on this article). Cut down your priority list to 2 or 3 things you want to achieve in a day. And then break down these ‘things’ by creating smaller tasks stretched out through the whole day. It will feel a lot less intimidating.
4. Give Yourself Some Time
If a task takes 5 hours to complete, give yourself those 5 hours distractions free and nip the task in the butt. It will save you so much time, stress and anxiety when you sit down and get it done.
Create your own deadline too, as if you were at work and your boss is breathing down your neck. The pressure of knowing that you have to complete a task in a given amount of time will help motivate you to stay on track. Once you’re done, don’t forget to reward yourself and give a pat on the back. You did that! Be proud!
5. Self Evaluate
Since you’re trying to stay productive from home, you have to basically do a multi-person job of managing yourself. By the end of the day, take a look back and evaluate what you’ve achieved. Ask yourself how you did that day. Were there any unexpected challenges? Look at the work you’ve done objectively and advice yourself on what you did well, and what could do with a little improvement.
It’s important you don’t forget that we all have our good days and bad days. Don’t judge yourself too harsh and feel discouraged if things didn’t go your way. And if they did, still treat yourself!
6. We All Need Support
Whether you’re trying to complete a task, or get something right in your life it’s always best to know that you’re not in your journey alone.
If you’re someone who lives alone, take the time to reach out to family and friends and ask them to keep you accountable when you’re not keeping at it. I find that it’s always very encouraging knowing you have a support team.
These are just some of the ways that I find have kept me productive. This is just a rough guide from someone who is also trying to take their own advice and keep their life on track. I’m also quite a visual planner so I have boards attached with what I need to do by the hour on my wall. It’s a way to see what I need to do during the day as soon as I wake up and stare at that wall, give it a try too if you’re someone who’s a visual planner.
I’ve been a mess for the majority of my post-graduation life but keeping a strict planner and taking accountability for my lazy days, has helped immensely with keeping track of my goals and working towards the 5,10 & 15+ year goal.
I hope this has inspired you or helped you in any way. I believe in you, and I know you’ve got it in you to do what’s best for you. You just have to put in the work 🙂