Lessons Blog · Life Blog

Productivity 101… by a self-confessed procrastinator

In my late teens/early twenties I was THE Queen of procrastination. I was so bad I once wrote a whole University essay the night before it was due because I’d put it off that long. Have you ever tried Harvard Referencing at 6am on no sleep? I do not recommend it…I would put off school work until the last possible minute and I really had to work hard on myself to change this as I got older. I’m much better these days but it’s still a work in progress.

Due to social distancing rules, I’ve been working from home since March 13th. I’m sure this is a similar tale for many of you and from talking to my colleagues the way people are adjusting varies from “Awesome WFH life” to “I need social interaction ASAP”. I know that some offices are easing restrictions now but I have been informed that our offices will remain at minimal manning (staff are only allowed in if it is mandatory) into the end of the year at least. Personally, I do not love the working from home lifestyle. I find it quite difficult to reach the same levels of productivity that I do in the office mainly because I can focus better in that work environment but I also didn’t realise how much I would miss the routine of having somewhere to go everyday. However, we are now many months in, I’m finally becoming more used to this way of working and there are several things I do to become my most productive self that I would like to share. It ‘s worth noting these are not exclusive to work days, I need just as much help to do life chores as well…

To-Do Lists

I cannot shout about this enough. It may seem like I’m preaching a no-brainer step here but To-Do lists can turn my day around. So if you’re currently struggling with getting motivated – start with this. Many people say to write this when you wake up to start the day however I actually write a To-Do list the night before. This especially helps if I’m feeling particularly down or overwhelmed as I’ll already have a plan for the day when I wake up. Keep this pretty high level if you wish but the fun is in the crossing out so don’t just put the big stuff. On a bad day I’ll include pretty much everything; do a workout, take a shower, do the washing etc… It is such a good feeling, at the end of the day, being able to cross off the things you’ve done.

If a task is overwhelming you…refocus your attention

If I’m struggling to get momentum to complete a task/chore/project that I need to get done, sometimes it’s worth referring back to that To-Do list and getting something else ticked off. Use your tendency for procrastination for the better. Tik-Tok or watching TV – a big no-no – but cleaning up those minutes from yesterdays meeting – yes, yes, yes. The accomplishment you’ll feel for finishing something should drive you to continue. Getting started is that hardest part.

Exercise

*Collective sigh* Just a walk will do, anything more is a bonus. Those endorphins will turn your day around. Promise. This coming from chubby girl…

Take a Break

Even if you don’t feel like you’ve made much progress, make sure you take a break. Half an hour sitting in the garden with a cold lemonade…does wonders.

Flip the switch on your attitude

If you go into something with the mind-set “I’m never going to get this done” you’re setting yourself up for a fail. Switch it up – “Let’s get this done”, positive thoughts produce positive results.

You got this.

Stacey x

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