It’s the start of the week again. I’m debuting a new segment on VROGUE called #MotivationalMonday. Monday’s my most dreaded day of the week and it probably is so for most of you guys too. So, every Monday from now on, a new post will be up to start the week off. I’m going to work hard to keep it motivating and inspiring. Hopefully, it’ll kick off the week to a great start and continue on until the next #MotivationalMonday. Ain’t nobody got time for stinky Monday blues. So let’s get right to it!
We all have those moments or days where we’re feeling completely unmotivated. It doesn’t help knowing that there’s a long list of things to do waiting, with absolutely no intention of doing any of it. If you do have the faintest of motivation left deep down, the hard part starts when you actually have to sit down and get some serious work done. Suddenly, doing the dishes or walking your dog sounds very appealing when you’re staring at that blank document.
Learning how to be productive when you’re completely unmotivated is something that I’m still working on myself. But I’m here to tell you that there’s hope, my friends! Here are a few tips for staying productive even when you’re feeling completely unmotivated.
LIMIT YOUR LIST AND PRIORITISE
Don’t just make long to-do-lists, you know the kind with like 101 tasks on them with no deadline or level of importance. Writing that list will probably make you feel “productive” but really, it’s just going to make you feel worse staring at it. Instead, limit your to-do-list and prioritise. Make a to-do-list of just 5 things that need to be done and prioritise your tasks in order of importance and urgency.
As a bonus, I’ve designed 3 free printable to-do-lists for you! Join the VROGUE family to get it now!
FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU’RE AFRAID OF
When I find myself procrastinating or just simply unmotivated, I try to figure out what I’m dreading that’s keeping me from getting to it. Most times, it’s something that I presume is going to take a long time to finish. The prospect of spending hours on ends, unable to see the light at the end of the tunnel scares me and keeps me from starting.
BITE THE BULLET
The trick is to tackle the most dreaded item on your to-do-list first. It’s definitely daunting, but it’s one of those things where you just have to bite the bullet and rip off the bandaid. Get it over and done with. When that bad boy’s out of the way, things will look up from there. You’ll feel better and your day will proceed on with a huge weight off your shoulders.
STOP MULTITASKING AND START MONOTASKING
I personally have a really short attention span and I love multitasking. I guess it’s my way of keeping things fresh by moving on to another task when something at hand has seemingly gone stale. If you’re like me, then you’re probably a little unfamiliar with monotasking.
Monotasking is about minimising the number of tasks you undertake in the day and tackling each task with complete focus until it is done before moving on to the next.
I’ve learnt that multitasking keep me constantly busy (or feeling busy) but never feeling like I’ve actually achieved or accomplished much at the end of the day. Also, I’ve noticed every time I stop focusing on the task at hand to ‘quickly’ do something else, my brain takes valuable time to get back into gear on my original task. Which is unnecessarily time consuming and counterproductive. So monotask! One thing at a time people.
SET A TIGHT BUT DOABLE TIME LIMIT
Have you ever heard of the Pomodoro Technique? This method breaks down your work day into 25 minute intervals, separated by short 5 minute breaks in between. First pick a task to work on, set a timer for 25 minutes, commit to solely focus on the task at hand until the timer rings, take a short 5 minute break, and then start another focused “pomodoro”. Make sure to take a longer break (15 – 20 minutes) every four pomodoros. Using this technique will help you gauge how long each task actually takes you, allowing you to realistically set doable timelines and also build little rewards more frequently into your day.
TURN OFF ALL DISTRACTIONS
Set Up E-mail Rules to Keep Your Sanity
Resist checking your e-mails the second you wake up. I’m not quite the morning person, so most mornings I will coax myself out of bed by scrolling through my emails. Reading but not replying to them just yet. For anyone who has been doing this for the longest time, I totally get it and know that it’s hard not to, but I find myself more prone to feeling unmotivated if I do check my emails the second I wake up. By the time I finished reading my emails, I would have wasted ample of time to have defeated the purpose of waking up early, desire to take a nap from all the information and have zero intention in responding to any of those e-mails later.
Instead, try not to check your email or any social media account until after you’ve had a good breakfast. Or after lunch if you can help it. Get started with the tasks on your list from the highest first. You’d feel much better if you managed to accomplish some of them before noon, then kick back and relax with emails and social media after lunch when you’re tired and probably a little sleepy.
Unplug Yourself from Social Media
There I’ve said it! Social media is like a black hole, a gravitational singularity where space-time curves infinitely and where the laws of physics as we know them cease to operate. Pinning, liking, scrolling, tweeting and facebooking are all lovely ways to mind melt when you’re not motivated. But you’re only procrastinating the inevitable. I often catch myself checking Twitter with the intention of just spending a couple of minutes on there, soon turn into say 30 minutes. Which is not THAT bad. So I guess I’ll go on to Facebook… Instagram… Pinterest… … Well you get the point, so cut yourself off from social media!
Well, not entirely. Turn off notifications on your phone, or better yet, leave your phone in another room. Even an Instagram like can trigger your curiosity and completely derail you from what you were working on. Set specific times, like give yourself a couple of water-cooler moments each day to catch up on social media. Reserve checking social media for your 5 minute pomodoro breaks, and actually stop when your 5 minutes are up. Once you quiet all that noise, it’ll be so much easier to focus, I promise.
If you feel your business needs more social media time, consider using a social media scheduler. There’s TweetDeck and HooteSuite for Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus. There are also several Pinterest schedulers out there like Boardbooster and Tailwind.
Nothing’s less motivating than a cluttered work environment. Spend 15 minutes tidying up your workspace and tame your email so you can think clearly and breathe a little easier.
DON’T FORCE IT AND DON’T BE SO HARD ON YOURSELF
Some days you’re just not in the mood and that’s okay. Take a freakin’ break! Know that it’s absolutely okay and allow yourself to have some down time, guilt free. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Get away from your desk, go out for a stroll (maybe catch some Pokemon? Pokemon Go anyone?), take the afternoon off, give your mind a break and try again tomorrow. If you give yourself proper time to recuperate and for your brain to reboot, you’ll be ready to focus and achieve so much more the next day.
I hope these few tips helped. Leave a comment or tweet me @GoneVrogue if they do and also tell me,
WHAT ARE YOUR TIPS FOR BEING PRODUCTIVE EVEN WHEN YOU’RE COMPLETELY UNMOTIVATED?