Getting stuff done is arguably the one thing that stands between you and the life you want. While some of us seem born with inextinguishable motivation, for others, diaries and to-do-lists are concepts that have never really stuck. Achieving tasks on time seems to be a continual struggle, inevitably resulting in frantic, stress-eating panic. If you fall into the latter category, read on and bear the following in mind.
#1 You Are In Control
…and it’s time to act like it.
Before even beginning to attempt a productivity ramp-up, it’s imperative to keep in mind that your life should not consist of seemingly meaningless lists/tasks. Whatever you want, travel, a new lifestyle, a career change, it’s all right there, currently being lived by people who are more motivated and productive (or older) than you. Harsh but true. The majority of the world’s most successful individuals came from relative hardship. They recognised that life was theirs, and nobody else was going to come along and make things happen for them. If you feel you’ve outgrown your hospitality, retail (or other) job, figure out what kind of lifestyle you’d prefer and make it happen. You simply can’t expect to be highly productive whilst working and existing in a lifestyle you don’t identify with. Once you recognise that it is you who determines what activities your days consist of, your time is much more likely to be filled with things you enjoy, and productivity levels will naturally rise.
#2 The Hardest Part Is Starting
There is nothing worse than teetering on the brink of beginning a task totally intimidated by its size or significance. The worst thing you can do is hesitate or ponder for too long. Chances are you will become hugely demotivated, and come to dread the task, lessening the chance of its completion. It’s time to stop sabotaging your productivity levels by associating negativity or boredom with being organised and proactive. Remember that you will always feel so much worse before you begin a task, than when you are half-way done. Simply starting to work on something will automatically help you feel more motivated and in control.
#3 If In Doubt, Assess The Task
If you are really having trouble getting started, or are beginning to doubt the relevance of a given task to your life, it might be a good idea to take some time to evaluate what you are doing and why. Outlining the reasons why you are attempting a task can be an effective way of generating motivation and productivity. If you draw a blank when attempting to brainstorm reasons why a particular task is beneficial to you, it might be time to consider removing it from your to-do-list. If you are gaining nothing from an internship, a course of study, or even maintaining a relationship, consider why you are still trying to push through. This of course requires careful evaluation, and decisions should not be made in haste; but remember, realising the lack of value a particular task brings to your life, is sometimes the most intelligent move you can make.
#4 The Stuff You Already Know
Get a diary, plan your time in advance and use highlighters and sticky notes. You can find this kind of organisational advice anywhere. Also, don’t forget to reward yourself. If you are going to the effort of breaking out of lazy habits, do it in a way that makes you feel good. Study in an aesthetically pleasing (but not distracting) environment or reward yourself with an cheeky macaroon after a tough working session. Most importantly, make productivity and task completion a positive experience. Fill your life with activities you are intrinsically motivated to complete and reward yourself for working towards your ideal lifestyle. You can do it.