This may come as a surprise, but I am not super productive every single day. I honestly wish I was, but I sometimes (a lot of times) struggle with procrastination or just being distracted. I know I’m not the only one, so I figured I would share some tips that I use to get myself into a productivity groove.
As it gets darker earlier in the winter months, these tips will also help because that is when my motivation is the lowest. Even though these are tips to help you be productive — just note that it is totally OK to have a chill day and regroup every now and then!
Narrow your to-do list to just 3 Items
Have you ever had so much on your to-do list that you just don’t want to do any of it?! Yeah – that happens to me too. When I start to feel overwhelmed and just want to turn on Netflix or Youtube, I narrow down my list to my top 3 priorities. Checking off 3 things is a lot more reasonable than 15. And once you start checking off one thing, then you’ll feel inspired to keep going!
I also find that I feel more inspired to do things when I know that I can actually start and finish the task in the day. There is something about actually accomplishing a task that gives me just enough motivation to tackle the next task.
Work on things that are not just important, but also important to you
Tackle the hardest task first
The phrase “Eat the Frog” means you take care of your biggest, most challenging task first. Once you knock off the hardest thing in your day it will be easy to handle the smaller tasks. The earlier you can get that hard task done, the better!
If you continue to put off the hardest task, you will drag your feet to getting it done. This is where the procrastination kicks in because you’re dreading the task.
Set a time limit to be productive
When you set a time limit or a goal for when you want to accomplish things it will provide a little more structure to tackling your priority list. Just by setting a mental deadline that should help push you to get to work.
Parkinson’s Law states “”work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” Which means that if you give yourself 3 hours to get a task done, you’ll take the full 3 hours. I read the book “4 Hour Work Week” by Tim Ferris and he talks about this more and suggests that you should always give yourself short and clear deadlines to accomplish things.
Put on your favorite productivity playlist
So depending on what kind of work I’m doing, I have two different pandora stations that I have literally been using to get work done since I was in college! I think my brain is so conditioned to knowing that theses stations are for getting work done that it just works for me. The first station is for when I need to be super focused I listen to the Adele Pandora Station. When I want to have a little more fun while getting work done, I listen to the JaRule Pandora station which has all the early 2000’s hits!
Whatever you choose to listen to, make sure it gets you in a good mood and inspires you to be productive!
Work towards a Reward
Sure, crossing things off your to-do list is rewarding in itself, but it’s even easier to work towards something if you know that once you’re done you get to go to Happy Hour with friends or catch up on an episode of your favorite show.
Sometimes I like to treat myself to an iced coffee and yes, I drink iced coffee All Year Long! I will work really hard and tell myself that if I get X accomplished by 3pm then I can treat myself to some Starbucks. Some of my favorite seasonal drinks are listed in this post here.
Now you have no excuses for not being productive! You can always save this post on pinterest to come back to if you need review these steps!