Even the most self-motivated among us, find it harder to get things done in the winter. And the crazy thing? It seems like the busiest time of the year! So how do we stay productive when our to-do list is the last thing on our minds?
1.Make Boring Tasks More Fun
Sometimes what’s stopping you from being productive is your dislike for a certain task on your list (or all of them). Instead of putting off your to-do list in favor of Netflix, think about how you can make the task more entertaining. Washing dishes? Bring over your laptop and catch up on your favorite show. Vacuuming? Put in your headphones and listen to your favorite playlist. Productivity hacks are all about tricking your mind into doing something you thought you didn’t want to do.
You can even do this at work! If you’re stuck with data entry, put on a podcast to listen to while you click copy and paste. If it feels like Excel is sucking the life out of you, listen to a TED talk. This tip works particularly well if you’re doing something mindless. Multitasking is a dangerous game to play, but if it helps you actually get your tasks done, I say go for it.
2.Find Motivation By Taking a Break
I find that once I’ve given myself a good 30-45 minute break, I’m refreshed and ready to jump back in. While it’s fun to push through the to-do list and knock off items left and right, it can definitely burn you out. We’re not looking for just one day of productivity here!
To keep yourself motivated and efficient day after day, work breaks into your schedule. You might need to re-think the times you start and stop for the day to fit this time in, but it is worth it to prevent burn out.
3.Write it Down and Plan it Out
It can be overwhelming when your mile long to-do list is going through your mind over and over again. When you put pen to paper, you should write out everything that you can think of that you need to do AND spread it out over the right amount of time so you aren’t doing everything at once. You’ll feel a lot better and less overwhelmed.
I try to limit my daily to-do list for work to 5-7 things each day. Other tasks inevitably pop-up, but because I have my to-do list under control, I’m much more relaxed. There are only so many things you can do each day. Put this productivity hack to use and get the important things done.
It is so much easier to be productive when you’re in a good mood, and thinking gratefully will get you there. In fact, scientific studies have shown that gratitude is good for you. Just by trying to find things we’re grateful for we become happier.
Productivity hacks like this are most successful when you form a habit of practicing them day after day. Maybe on the way to work you could think about why you’re grateful to be able to do what you do. You could also start writing a gratitude list in the morning. With all the research that’s been done about the benefits of gratitude, it’s about time you do it already!
5.Take Time to Learn
There’s nothing like a good book or insight to really amp up your energy and get your productivity going. What lights you up? What could you learn that would improve your skills at work?
While learning can seem like another task on your to-do list, it can also make all the rest of your tasks easier. Decide to learn more about salary negotiation or capsule collections. The possibilities are endless and the opportunities that follow are so worthwhile.
What is your go-to procrastination tool? YouTube? Netflix? Share your guilty pleasure below before you try out these productivity hacks.