I suck at being productive. I don’t know why I am writing this, haha. But, from experience, I have found certain things that do work. A few exceptions that work for someone even as lazy as me. So I’m just going to get started with this.
- Finish pending stuff over the weekend.
There is something about new years eve, Mondays, the first of every month, even birthdays. Fresh beginnings. It’s like everything has been reset all over again. One of the things that would make our new beginnings feel like new beginnings is if you don’t go into them carrying the weight of what is left behind. Pending work basically means excess baggage to be carried into another prospective productive week. And we don’t want to do that. To finish off the work that’s pending over the weekend lets you have a fresh start to the week. However, this can be tricky because we tend to get a little lazy over the weekend since it is after all our days off. So, if you don’t want to sacrifice your weekend,
- Avoid having any pending tasks at the end of the day (Have a routine and stick to it) Trust me when I say this. MAKE A TIMETABLE. Have a routine and stick to it. Force yourself to fit into that. Every time you try to squeeze something, your body adjusts and your mind as well. The hard part is to get habituated to it. I hated waking up in the mornings until recently when I started working out. I am not one of those people who can work out at home, so I started going to a class outside. It somehow forced me to get out of bed every morning. Also, the fact that I have great friends there who motivate me to wake up every day. And believe it or not, I’m hooked to this new routine. I cannot look back. I’ve become so obsessed with this fixed routine that on days when I have nothing to do, it feels weird. And I get so much work done because of this routine.
- Spend time with yourself everyday. Now this, is very important. Even if it is spending 10 minutes in the shower where you’re alone with your thoughts. It is very important to know and be aware of your emotions and what you are going through on a daily basis. This helps in many ways and for many reasons, is necessary.
You must be aware of what you feel, are you stressed out? Happy? If it’s negative, addressing it would help you become efficient.
Also, quick tip. If you are self-aware. Do what you like/makes you happy at least for 15-20 minutes a day. 🙂
- Prioritize your chores on your to-do lists. I used to have this habit of overwriting tasks in the to-do lists. A big mistake. Having more tasks makes you feel like you have never accomplished anything. Try and list down a very few important tasks (almost like milestones) to be done in a day. Focus on them instead of having 10 chores and finishing 4. Writing down ten chores might feel nice but long lists will never let you prioritize and you might miss out on doing important chores and end up doing the ones that have low priority. Write down stuff that you MUST do in a day and keep reminding yourself to finish it at any cost to avoid carrying it over to the next day.
- Talk to your favourite people during the day. Stay in touch with people. Working from home has made us extremely anti-social. Someone like me has been very comfortable with this. I would do anything to avoid going out. However, lately, I’ve been making it a point to talk to my favourite people every day. Even if it’s a 15-20 minute conversation, it is very relieving and a change of atmosphere to speak to someone outside of work. Surprisingly, reduces stress as well.
- Know when to take a break. I don’t know how to do this myself. But walk around every now and then. Sitting for hours has definitely been problematic for me. Walk around every hour, go grab some water, lie on your bed in between, and have your food on the table and NOT your work from home desk in front of your laptop. (Although I do it myself)
- Clean your surroundings. I cannot stress on this enough. Having a clean environment around you makes you very very productive. How you smell, how your surroundings smell and feel is extremely important to be able to focus. Clean your desk EVERYDAY before going to bed. Make your bed, take a shower, smell good.
Another tip is, try and wear a t-shirt or an outfit that requires you to get out of your pyjamas. Working in PJs make you feel like you are at home and you don’t need to focus or there is no urgency. Most times, this could make you very lazy and inefficient and we want to avoid that.
So yea, these were a few things that I mentioned from my experience. Most of them, 90% of them actually are from my personal experience and trust me. These habits have definitely made me happier and more efficient at work. I am not stressed and I love waking up every day. It’s not always perfect, but I try. And that’s a start. 🙂