It’s been a bit of a rough month. I don’t know whether it’s the winter blues, or just a feeling like I need a change, but I’ve been very unmotivated recently. And not at my most productive.
As I pondered my situation, and thought about my motivation issues, I came up with things I learned about productivity in the last month or so:
1. Procrastination Only Makes It Worse
There were times when I just looked at my day, and my workload, and just decided that I’d tackle it fresh the next day. Unfortunately, looking at the growing pile of work only made me more unmotivated. The result? Procrastination only made me less productive.
However, when I forced myself to power through some of my work, I felt much better. And I got more done. Forcing myself to do just one more thing really helped me get the ball rolling. It also helped if I tackled the work immediately, in the morning, instead of putting it off while I read, or dinked around on Facebook. Those activities, instead of providing a needed break, were more of a way way to put off getting started in the first place.
If you want to get into a productive mode, putting it off just isn’t going to help. You need to get in there and get started. Start small, but start.
2. The State of My House Matters
I was surprised at how much better I felt, and how much more I was able to get done once I started putting the house back together after the Christmas mess. We still don’t have the tree down, but all the ornaments are packed away, and I started making other changes to the house to make it cleaner.
Clutter can weigh you down. I was surprised at how much clutter was accumulating in my house, and even more surprised at how I became more productive when I cleaned up most of the clutter. When I feel happier about my living arrangements, it’s easier to be motivated, and I’m much more productive.
3. I Need to Get Stuff Done in the Morning
By afternoon, I’m completely unmotivated. My most productive time is the morning. If I don’t get it done before lunch, it’s really hard for me to get it done later. I move slower afternoon, and I’m pretty run down. So, if I sleep late, or do something else before I get started with work, I’m much less likely to get to my work later. If I spend the morning taking a leisurely breakfast and reading, by the time lunch time rolls around, I’m less likely to really work on what needs to be done — or at least get it done efficiently.
Not everyone works well in the mornings, though. You need to figure out what time of day is most productive for you, and then plan your day accordingly. Peak productivity is about figuring out what works for you, and then sticking to that.
I’m back on track (I think), and I’m ready to be a more productive me. What are some of the things you’ve learned about your own productivity habits?