No matter what time of year, we can always try improving and becoming the best versions of ourselves. It’s when we give way to our desires of the now that our ambition and productivity stops. We try to serve ourselves via instant gratification, forgetting the progress we’ve made leading up to this point. We have to remind ourselves of where we want to go, and how to get there.
If you want to reach your goals, implement some changes in your daily life to keep you on track.
Wake up early
The hardest thing to force yourself to do in the winter time is the one thing that will enhance your productivity: get up earlier. It is so easy to sleep in, when you’ve got a nice heated blanket and fuzzy socks on. The thing about sleeping in is that you ALWAYS end up more tired. I can’t tell the amount of times I’ve snoozed my alarm and went back to bed, only to rise out of bed more tired and groggy than before. Play some jams as soon as you wake up. Do some pushups. Count to five and get yourself out of bed. Do whatever you need to do to get your day moving. It may be nice to lay in bed, but it’s so much nicer being up earlier checking stuff off your do list and feeling super productive.
Track your habits
We all have these things we’d like to do more of. Go to the gym. Drink more water. Read a new book a week. The thing about these lofty goals that we have is that we tend to think them but never remind ourselves of them. What good is goal that you forget you have? Make a habit tracker. On a piece of paper, write all the habits you want to track and place them in the margin. At the top of the page, write the dates of the next few days of the week. In the morning, look at your habits and see which one you can knock out first. When you’re bored, look at your habits. Every night, check to see the ones you’ve done and the ones you don’t make time for. This helps you become more aware of your actual habits daily.
Get an accountability partner
Often times, we are lazy because we have no outside motivation. Motivation in the form of a friend who wants you to succeed or has the same goal as you could be the solution to your lack of productivity. Maybe you want to read more. Call your friend and set up a day to meet at a bookstore, browsing the aisles and reading the blurbs on the backs of the books. Recommend books to each other. Have a daily reading page goal. Text each other to check whether or not it was done. Knowing that someone is expecting you to keep your end of the bargain can be the thing you need to get you to reach your goal. Even better, make it a competition to see who meets the goal more in a streak of a month. Loser buys winner pizza!
Try the Pomodoro method
A technique I tried when trying to write a 10 page research paper was the Pomodoro method. It is so easy to get into the habit of cramming all the work we need to do in one sitting when often times, that’s the recipe for low productivity. To continue functioning at optimal levels, we need a break. The Pomodoro method breaks up your work time in 25 minute intervals. You do 25 minutes of work, then take a five minute break. You continue this cycle until you’ve done your fourth 25 minute work period, in which you can take a longer break of 15 to 30 minutes. A great plus is to fill your breaks are with light relaxation, like reading, or other goals, doing 20 pushups.
Start with easiest task
If you can barely get yourself to do anything because the list is too much, just do one. Do the simplest, easiest task. My to do list can be filled with many small tasks that altogether look like a lifelong bucket list, and maybe I’d rather hit the bucket before hitting the list. But if you can write an email or fix your bed or drink some water, just doing the bare minimum, it’s alright to say that a little productivity is better than none at all.
You are so much more disciplined than you think. Go get that to do list or those resolutions and start kicking butt!
Signing off, Gigi
How do you stay productive? What makes you roll up those sleeves and get to work?