We’ve all been there. The desire to be productive is present but for some reason you just can’t pull the imaginary trigger and get things done. This could be because you’re too tired, you’re bored, feel like you need a break, or for possibly no reason at all.
I’ve been working on this for a long time. There’s been a disconnect between my desire for productivity and actually getting it done. If you’re interested in the reasons behind your procrastination, check out this post here. If not, continue on for how to boost your productivity when you feel stuck.
This post is partially…well…fully inspired by my current mood. I have a long list of things I need to be accomplishing in my personal and professional life.
Yet, for about an hour I was just staring at my computer screen agonizing over what to do. I was feeling like I wouldn’t get anything done today.
Actually, I did all but one of these things (the last one in the list) to help me boost my productivity and finally started getting things accomplished. Also, I list these in the order I completed them myself.
Follow these tips and I’m sure your productivity will be increased.
Journaling Your Way to Productivity
The first thing I did today to boost productivity was to get out my journal, but you can get some scratch paper if you don’t have one. Long term I do suggest getting one. I recommend this reusable one if you’re not keen on wasting paper.
Anyways, I started writing out how I was feeling and possible reasons why I was feeling that way. I was feeling tired, lazy, and unproductive but really I was bored, uninspired, and stressed.
It basically felt like my brain had shut down. I just sat and stared and did nothing until I realized I WANTED and NEEDED to get my act together and be productive. I journaled about it and figured it out which led to the next thing below.
For you, start journaling and figure out why you’re procrastinating and how you’re feeling so you can figure out how you can get past it.
Write Out 3 Things
Once you’ve made progress journaling, the next step is to write out 3 things you HAVE to get done today. It doesn’t matter how big or small, though do be reasonable about what you can accomplish in a day.
What 3 things could you do today to feel like you had a productive and fulfilling day? Now, take those 3 things and order them in how important they are to you.
If those 3 things would make your day complete, what 1 thing could you feel at least satisfied with if you didn’t get to the other two things? While you are doing this planning you can bring in my third step to increasing your productivity.
Boost Productivity With Loud Music or Podcast
Some may find loud music or listening to a podcast distracting, and I’ll admit that I sometimes do too, but when you’re first trying to get yourself in the mood to actually get your list of things done, you need to get pumped up.
You can do this with your favorite motivational podcast, with some upbeat music, or whatever music gets you going. Sometimes I even use songs from musicals because I get into the character and it gets my whole body going too.
Boost those endorphins with music or motivational talks or anything else that gets you more alert and upbeat.
Start Small and Snowball Your Tasks
After you’ve journaled out some feelings, written your 3 things, and boosted your endorphins with some kind of peppy music or podcast, it’s time to break those tasks down.
Start with your top prioritized task and break it down into smaller more achievable steps. The exception is if one of your other tasks is small and/or more exciting, which I will talk about in a minute.
Let’s use a cleaning example:
I’m going to use cleaning the house because that’s something most people don’t want to do. Let’s say your top 3 things are: load and unload the dishwasher, wash your clothes, and clean the bathroom.
Your top priority is cleaning your bathroom because you’ve been avoiding it for a while and you know it needs to get done as soon as possible. Start small. You can pick up anything off the floor, then straighten the countertop, and slowly make your way to the toilet and bathtub.
However, if you’re struggling with productivity, this can put a halt on your progress even though you’ve broken the tasks down into smaller steps.
Instead, try to find a quick and easy win that you would enjoy which I’ll explain in the next section.
Do Something You Enjoy First
So what small thing from your list is something fast and easy that you enjoy doing and would give you a quick win? Do that thing first.
If it’s not too bad, you can keep playing your music to stay fired up. This is what I did while I set up my new account.
Cleaning Example Continued
Using the example that you want to clean the house today, there wasn’t much of anything “fun” on that list. So a quick and easy win is to take your dirty clothes and stick them in the wash. Part 1 of washing your clothes is done and you can move on to something else.
Next, while playing some loud and fun music, you can go unload the dishwasher and load it back up all while your clothes are washing. Now you’re really making progress.
While the clothes AND the dishes are running, you can start doing a few things in the bathroom. You may even finish by the time the clothes are ready to go in the dryer.
Then once that’s done, your dishes should be just about done so you can unload those again. Finally, your clothes will be dry and you can pull them out and fold them, or you can be like me sometimes and keep them in the dryer until your husband does his laundry. Oops.
Now, this example was just for cleaning but this method can be used for anything.
Do you have a lot of errands to run? Where can you go first that won’t take too long or that would be fun for you? Grab a treat for yourself along the way to keep yourself energized.
I’ll make more posts in the future with all kinds of things you may need help with boosting productivity and getting things done.
This last way to boost your productivity is to get active. I didn’t use this method today but I have in the past. These can be small activities such as taking a short walk, dancing to music, or walking your dog.
It also could be larger activities such as playing sports, doing your regular workouts, going for a run, etc.
Find something that gets you up and energized so that you can boost your mood. This will boosts your ability to get things done. I’m much more productive when I’m in an upbeat mood vs down, stressed, or sad.
Final Cleaning Example:
So in your cleaning example, the cleaning could be part of getting active since your up and moving around. Throw in that music and you can dance, clean, and be active all at once.
If you’re feeling stuck and can’t get yourself to get anything done, follow these steps and I know you’ll be able to be more productive.
You may not get everything on your list completed, but you’ll get much more done than you would have if you kept staying stuck.
Don’t let your mind and procrastination win.
Get planning, get moving, and get things done.