HOW TO BE PRODUCTIVE WHEN YOU'RE FEELING LAZY
We've all been there: you have a huge to-do list, or maybe just a bunch of ideas in your head, but you just don't feel like starting or don't even know where to start. It can be overwhelming, especially if you work from home. Similar to my Wellness Wednesday post from last year, Small Ways To Start The Day Right, this post contains a few easy tips and tricks that can help you wake up feeling motived and ready to get sh*t done! I'll include some of the tips from that old post, as well as some new/different ones. Now let's do this!
HOW TO START YOUR DAY RIGHT AND GET PRODUCTIVE WHEN YOU'RE FEELING LAZY, UNMOTIVATED, OR IF YOU SIMPLY WORK FROM HOME
THE NIGHT BEFORE (mostly for people that don't work from home)
✧ Lay out your clothes or anything else you may need in the morning (bags, work projects, etc.) - it's one less thing to worry about.
✧ Meal prep! Make your breakfast or lunch ahead of time so you don't have to worry about it in the morning.
✧ Clean up your kitchen / living space / bedroom the night before. Doing a quick pick-up and washing the dishes the night before always makes me feel better the next day. I hate coming downstairs in the morning to a mess, and even though I hate doing dishes no matter what time it is, I'm always glad I don't have to look at a mess when I'm just trying to enjoy my morning coffee.
✧ Don't go on your phone! (a recurring theme in this post) We all know that staring at our phones too late into the night / too soon before we go to bed is bad for us and can make it harder to fall asleep. Obviously it can be hard because so many of us rely on our phones / devices for our jobs now - try setting a timer for yourself for 5 - 10 minutes to respond to emails, check socials, and then get outta there.
I don't know how anything other than iPhones work, so I'm only speaking for those people (so sorry) - take advantage of the Screen Time: you can set up your phone to tell you to put it down, limit the amount of time per day you can use certain (or all) apps, and tell you when to go to bed. Set yourself a reminder an hour or so before bed to put the phone away and pick up a book or do some pre-bed stretching. Anything that'll get your eyes off that screen!
IN THE MORNING
✧ Make your bed! As an adult, there isn't anyone there telling you to pick up your room or make your bed. I'm definitely still trying to break my bad habits of leaving my bed messy and clothes all over my closet floor. But making your bed in the morning, even if it's just straightening out the blankets and calling it a day, is a small task that can help wake you up and make you feel like you're being productive from the get-go.
✧ Make a to-do list! Whether you like to do it the night before or in the morning while you're having a coffee, make yourself a to-do list or list of goals you want to achieve that day. Trying to remember everything you want to get done might lead you to forget something important, or it'll lead to you losing track of what you're doing and getting nothing done at all.
✧ DON'T go on your phone! Going on your phone as soon as you wake up is a terrible habit (one that I've almost completely broken myself of, thank you very much). We already know that staring at screens are bad for our eyes and brains, so waking up and immediately shoving a bright screen directly in your face ... not a great idea. Of course, you can quickly check to make sure you haven't missed any important messages, calls, or emergencies, but don't just lay in bed scrolling through apps. Not only is this bad for your eyes, but you can accidentally waste hours and not even realize.
✧ Drink some water! We all know water is good for us, and it's especially good first thing in the morning. Having a glass, or even a few sips, of a nice cold water is a great way to start the day. It's good for your body and mind, and can help wake you up! I'm not saying don't have coffee, because I certainly need my morning cup, but have it with a side of ice water and I promise you'll feel much better.
✧ Have breakfast! Whether you're a "breakfast person" or not, having something in the morning can lead you to a more productive, energized day. Whether it's overnight oats so you don't have to worry about it in the morning, a smoothie, a bowl of cereal, or even just an orange, it's better to have something than nothing at all.
✧ Listen to a motivational podcast, book, or video! If you have a morning commute, or even just while you're doing your morning routine, listen to something motivational. If you're not into any of that, listen to some calming or uplifting music. If you're still looking for motivation to get stuff done, go on YouTube and look up videos of how to stay motivated! Watching other people get motivated will seriously get you in the mood to get sh*t done. Especially if it's cleaning! That's a whole rabbit hole you can fall down though, so be careful.
OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO
✧ Get dressed and get moving! If you work from home, it's easy to stay in pj's and sit in bed all day. But getting up, getting dressed and moving to a different location (a desk, a dining table, a kitchen counter) can feel much more motivating than just working from your bed. Even if you just put on sweat pants and sit on the couch, it's still something! Even better, plan one day a week to go work at a café or library; you'll get some fresh air and feel more motivated by others working around you.
✧ Don't make your to-do list on your phone. It may seem like a good idea, since we're never without our phones anymore, but making your to-do list on your phone can actually be super counterproductive. It happens to the best of us - you go to check one little thing and end up scrolling for way too long. Instead, get a journal, notebook, or notepad (or even a dry erase board!) to keep track of daily goals.
✧ Set timers. If you have tons of stuff to get done in one day, using timers can really help! You can also set timers for your breaks to make sure you don't accidentally waste a bunch of time.
For example: set yourself a timer to respond to emails. When you're done that, set a 5 minute timer to stretch or have a snack. Then, set another one to spend working on a project, and so on.
✧ Reward yourself. This can work in conjunction with the timer method: say you set a timer to work on a project for an hour - when the hour's up, reward yourself with a snack break or a stretch.
✧ Get some exercise! If you work from home, take a few small breaks during the day to stretch or go on a walk so you don't get sore from sitting all day or go stir crazy. Even if you just walk down your street and back, or stand on your front step, just try to get some fresh air!
✧ Stay positive! If you have a bunch of work, readings, or a project you're not looking forward to doing, try to stay positive about it. Don't start thinking "oh, this is gonna suck" or anything like that, because then it WILL suck. Instead, think of how good it'll feel when the project is done! And again, set timers and rewards for yourself. If you think the project will take 3 hours, set hourly timers to take a quick break and walk around or have a snack.
Hopefully these tips and tricks will help you get and stay motivated!