5 Ways To Be More Productive
Updated: Sep 6
With many of us working from home and social distancing due to COVID-19, I am willing to bet that motivation and productivity have decreased, especially with increased stress levels. Maybe you are finding yourself sleeping in later and later each day, making more trips to the fridge for a snack, or are spending more time on social media.
The reality is, we can't waste our days eating snacks on the couch watching Netflix forever. Eventually, we are going to need to get back to our regular selves and take care of our daily responsibilities.
If you find yourself struggling to get motivated and be productive, here are 5 tips to help get you back on track:
1. CREATE A ROUTINE
This is by far the best thing you can do to stay productive. With all the change happening in the world right now, it may take some time to find a new routine that works for you, but ultimately, this will be your key to increased productivity.
Start off by setting a concrete time you will wake up each day. Maintaining a consistent sleep cycle is important to ensure that you are waking up fresh and energized. If you are working from home, set a block of time aside to get your work done to keep it as separate from your home life as possible. A well established routine that outlines all aspects of your day will help you be more efficient and productive. Be sure to add in time for breaks and leisure!
Similar to creating a routine, it is important to prioritize your daily tasks to ensure you get the most out of your day. The key here is to be realistic in your daily goals. Creating a to-do list that is not feasible, given your established routine and current demands, will only overwhelm you and set you up for failure.
Think about what you need to do vs. what you want to do. You may want to start binge-watching a new TV show or go shopping, but do you really need to do that today? It is important that you put all urgent tasks at the top of your list and those "time wasters" closer to the bottom.
3. PRACTICE SELF-CARE
There is nothing worse than feeling like you have no fuel left in the tank to get you through the day. When we are swamped with work and other responsibilities, it can be easy to forget to take care of ourselves. This may lead to feeling tired, rundown, stressed, tense, and unmotivated.
Set some time aside each day to do something for yourself and recharge. Self-care doesn't have to be anything fancy; it can simply be taking 20 minutes to enjoy your morning cup of coffee. When we are satisfying our mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual needs through good self-care, we are happier and more motivated to tackle the day.
4. GET INSPIRED
What drives you in life? What gets you up in the morning? What do you want to accomplish? Whatever it is, embrace it! We all have purpose and value in life, and channeling our inner desires can be a great motivating factor.
For everything you do in life, no matter how trivial, ask yourself "What am I doing this for?". When the answer is something meaningful, we are more likely to continue to work towards that feeling again. Even if you hate your job, ask yourself why you keep going- maybe it is to support your family whom you love dearly? Try to keep your source of inspiration and motivation at the forefront of your mind to enhance productivity each day!
5. REWARD YOURSELF
A little self-bribery doesn't hurt, right? In all seriousness, rewarding ourselves for hard work can be a great source of motivation that leads to enhanced productivity. People tend to be very hard on themselves and self-defeating. When we don't give ourselves credit where credit is due, such as finishing something on our to-do list, we aren't going to be overly motivated to do it again, let alone to do it in the first place!
When creating your daily to-do list, make it with a special reward for yourself in mind. Maybe once you finish your tasks for the day you can treat yourself with a nice bubble bath or your favourite chocolate bar. By doing so, you are ultimately creating a positive reward system that reinforces productive behaviour with something self-satisfying. It is kind of like teaching children or animals to do certain things- you praise and reward the behaviours you want so that they will be more likely to do them again.
If you are looking for more help with stress-management, seeking guidance from a therapist might be beneficial. Contact me today to inquire about my mental health counselling services in Barrie or book your FREE 15-minute consultation.