Oh, productivity you wily temptress. Something I always want to be full of but can never really find enough of. Productivity calls to me from across the room like a siren as I sit and procrastinate. Because there’s a new PLL episode on Netflix so soz but I can’t do that thing I need to do. But I really should do that thing I need to do. Dammit why do I not have more of those productivity feels?
If this sounds familiar, then you are not alone. Procrastination > productivity 4eva IDST.
But to be honest that’s not how it should be. And to be even more honest, you kind of have to be productive sometimes. Because no matter how wonderful it is to sit in bed and watch Netflix for 7 hours straight, nothing can quite beat that feeling of having a really productive day and getting loads of stuff done. But how does one be productive exactly?
I’m pretty much the least productive person in the world, and being that sort of person on top of having an anxiety disorder just isn’t really ideal because then I get in that vicious cycle. You know the one – “I’m anxious.” > “I need to do this thing.” > “But I can’t bring myself to do this thing because anxious.” > “But I need to do this thing.” > “I’m now more anxious because I’m worried the thing I won’t do, won’t get done.”
So that’s where I’m here to help. Being that annoying person (see above) means I’ve had to develop ways to increase my productivity manually because, well, it just doesn’t always come naturally to me. So here is a list of things I do to help. A “how to be more productive” guide, so to speak.
1. Be organised in the first place, then it will be harder to procrastinate. Starting a bullet journal has helped my productivity massively because it means I have daily to-do lists (that are prioritised, just FYI) and pretty much every second of my day is planned out. It means I have a schedule to stick to, which means I won’t spend an hour being all “crap which should I do first omg omg omg I need to do things omg omg omg which first aaahhh maybe I’ll just go back to bed”. If you want to know more about my bullet journal, you can watch my flip-through video here and read my blog post here!
2. Be actually realistic about how long something is going to take. Don’t set aside 10 minutes to write and schedule a blog post, don’t set aside 2 hours to do the washing up. Be realistic and honest about how long something will take you and you’ll be able to manage your time much easier.
3. Set goals. Short term ones for the day, long term ones for the year, any goals you wish. Then, when you’re procrastinating something – remind yourself of why you need to do something and where it will take you. And no, “binge watch an entire season of Gossip Girl in a day” is not an acceptable productivity goal. Soz. (Man, I wish it was).
4. Stop saying “tomorrow”. If you can do it now, do it now. Stop putting things off and just get them done – life will be much easier and you’ll feel much better about it once it’s out of the way.
5. Clear away some clutter before you get started. I know this sounds like a way to procrastinate, but I will always procrastinate more if I have a messy workspace. Clear space = clear mind. But don’t spend too much time clearing up because that IS just procrastinating, which is the opposite of what we’re trying to accomplish here people.
6. Get up earlier. (If you can. I, personally, struggle with this one…) If you find yourself wishing for more hours in the day, the solution lies with your alarm clock. Or, if you’re a night owl – get things done in the evening. But this I wouldn’t necessarily recommend because you need sleep to function like a real human being, yo.
7. Stop saying yes to everything. Like, seriously. You aren’t being all carpe diem. You aren’t seizing the day by saying yes to everything. All you’re doing is adding to your flipping workload. If you can’t do something DON’T AGREE TO IT.
8. Drink alllll the water. Keep your brain hydrated and it will work better. That’s just science.
9. Reward yourself with pretty things for being good and productive. Although don’t reward yourself with chocolate after doing 10 minutes work because then you’ll suddenly end up a size 14 with no idea how you got there. Not that I know from personal experience, of course…
10. Talk to yourself differently. Instead of thinking “ohmygod I’ve got so much to do holy crap I’m going to die from the weight of all my daily tasks farewell world” try thinking “I have X, Y and Z to do today. Which of these is most essential? Which will take the longest amount of time? How can I most effectively get these done?” It sounds super grown up and adult, but it really works.
Productivity is a hard thing to master, but you can master it. So you go and do that thing you’ve got to do. Close your laptop (unless you need it), get up and get shit done! I BELIEVE IN YOU!
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