Ever have days when you feel like a motivation sloth? What you believed was going to be a productive-go-get-’em afternoon has quickly turned into you sitting on the couch at eight o’clock with nothing on your list crossed off?
Well, don’t fret–we’ve all been there before. I may not have a one-time solution for how to be more productive, but I’ll share one of my strategies with you.
If you’re struggling to get motivated first thing in the morning or later in the evening (before starting a project, etc.), tackle a (small things) to-do list. Don’t weigh yourself down with that big assignment you have to finish, the work revisions you have to get to, or the book you’ve been meaning to read–start with something small.
I love to go jogging, but I know it’s important to warm up at the beginning, do some stretches. Imagine that these “small things” are just warm-up exercises for your ol’ productive self. What kind of small things do I like to tackle? Well, here’s just a sample:
– Send a card to my brother
– Update personal calendar
– Check dates for summer concert tickets
– Transfer photos from camera to computer
– File papers on desk
– Unload dishwasher
As you may notice, nothing on my list is really time-sensitive, which allows me to get to each item in my own time. Sometimes the biggest burden of a to-do list is that it exists; it stares us down with its presumed urgency. Ideally, my small things are pretty straightforward tasks that require little forethought, effort, or time. Most things don’t take me more than 5-10 minutes, so even in a half-hour block, I can knock out several things. When I can’t get a move on things, this little push of productivity really helps set the tone for the rest of my day.
If you have any similar tips or strategies to share, feel free to leave a comment! In the meantime, I’m going to go write a note to my brother :)