If you couldn’t already tell from the sudden influx of planning, organisation and general ‘WHOOP LET’S GET IT DONE LADIES!’ content, I’m really riding out a productivity wave right now. Of course there is still the odd moment where I decide that bed is just so good that I don’t want to remove myself from it and begin to wonder that perhaps I should go after the job role that I’ve already wanted of ‘Chief Mattress Tester’. But overall I’ve found myself my motivation levels have been significantly higher in the past month or two than they’ve been all year, and I’d pin the cause down to a couple of factors and routines that I’ve been incorporating. So I thought I’d collate them into one big procrastination-kicking post today, to go with this morning’s video which is closer look at my current home office. TOUR TIME! Scroll down to the bottom of the post for that, but in the meantime are you ready for one big dollop of go-getting-ness?
FIND YOUR CREATIVE HUB
I speak about this more in tomorrow’s newsletter (SAY WHUT!? Make sure you’ve signed up!), but having a space that gets you in the mood to actually do some work is pretty bloomin’ integral to getting stuff done. Now it’s going to be different for everyone, but if you have a cubicle at work then why not get yourself a new plant and clear away all paperwork, or if you have to work out of your kitchen then try and make a comfortable nook that has cosy lighting and a comfy seat. Whatever the space you’ve got to work with is, make the most of it and make it a distraction-free, comfy spot that you feel inspires you when you plonk yourself down. As I mentioned I wrote a whole lengthy newsletter on this subject that will be dropping into your inboxes tomorrow morning, so I’ll keep this paragraph short and sweet and hopefully non-repetitive, but you get the gist.
DITCH THE DISTRACTIONS
If you need to move away from a particularly chatty co-worker, then ask. If your WhatsApp is going nuts, then mute the conversations. If Buzzfeed are always tweeting articles that lead you to spend the next hour browsing their site, then un-follow them. Whatever is your procrastination sweet spot, kick in the nuts and attempt to forget that it even exists. For me this is my phone *side eye to my phone which is literally about 10 cm away from my keyboard again – HOW?*. The laptop just isn’t enough technology for me apparently and you can bet your bottom dollar that after finishing up a paragraph of a blog post, I pick it up, scroll through Twitter, through Instagram, Instagram Stories, see if there’s anything new on YouTube and 20 minutes later finally get back to writing. In my least productive moments this is a cycle that I repeat all day long. So instead I’m trying to keep it turned on silent, upside down and check on it only when I actually deserve a break.
SAY ‘HELL NO’, POLITELY
I know I sound like a broken record with this one, but after politely declining trips, meetings, events and social bits and bobs over the month of August – mainly because it was sandwiched in between July and September which were, and are gearing up to be nuts months for me – I’ve ticked through my to-do lists each week and only had a couple of tasks that remain unfinished, which really ain’t too bad. Taking this time chained to my desk has also allowed me to see where I have slots in my schedule to carve out for new ideas *insert newsletter plug again* and that I can be much more sociable with my Brighton peeps when I’m not traipsing up and down to and from London multiple times a week – shocking, I know. If you feel unmotivated, like you need to nap for 165 hours and like you’re spreading yourself too thin, this is the point to start with.
THE ‘ONE-TOUCH’ METHOD
I spoke about the ‘One-Touch’ method earlier this year, back in this blog post and it’s still something that I try and stick to. The idea is that you don’t start a task without having the intention and the time to finish it there and then. Now of course this doesn’t work for everything, especially big long-term projects that you’d literally be sitting in your chair for the next four days if you were going to finish it in one go. But it does lend itself to snappier tasks; like going through your post and sorting out your inbox. So now when the postman arrives if I don’t have time at that exact second to open my parcels, shift through the contents and file away paperwork, then I leave it to do later when I have a chance to properly go through it all. ‘All’ being the keyword here. Ain’t no putting off filing away your student loans company paperwork till a week later, but opening all the fun packages. The same principle goes for your inbox. Don’t even open it unless you’ve got 10 or 15 minutes free to action and reply to everything that’s currently in there. It works wonders and means that I’m not being distracted by the pings going off in the corner of my screen all day.
BOOK YOURSELF A TREAT
I think this is the main thing that’s put a rocket up my arse since the beginning of August, because we finally got round to booking our honeymoon. We’re spending almost a month down in New Zealand which means a MONTH. OFF. WORK. It’s something I’ve never done in my whole working career and because I’m taking a week off before we go away too to spend time with family and basically have a couple of days at home scratching my arse, doing nothing and not feeling bad about it, it’s actually more like five weeks. Being the workaholic that I am, this previously would have terrified me and I would have spent months before in a frenzy trying to get content pre-filmed and bulk scheduled for when I’m away, but recently it’s like someone has clicked my internal ‘chill-mode’ switch on. The world isn’t going to end if I don’t post content, I’m sure you lot will be back visiting in January when I start uploading and posting again (THANKS!) and actually it will be nice to have a break, to refresh and to have a chance to think about what’s happened, where I’m at and what I want for the future. Oh isn’t that deep? So because I know that there’s a break on the horizon it’s forced me to knuckle down and churn out some good stuff before I up sticks and leave.
Photos by Lauren Shipley
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