Let’s face it, we all have days where we stare at our laptop screens and think no, not today. Whether you have emails to answer, an essay to write or a deadline to meet, it’s important to keep your productivity levels high so you can just get it done. It’s easy to get up and walk away from your desk, to raid the kitchen or scroll through your social media notifications – sometimes any distraction is a welcome one when you can’t face your workload. But usually, there’s something you can do to perk yourself up a bit – to increase positivity and as the two often go hand in hand, productivity too. So being self-employed and consequently having to motivate myself (and actually stay motivated) every day, I thought I’d share my top 5 tips for keeping energy levels high, encouraging that ‘can do’ attitude.
Instead of writing a mile-long to-do list of every task that needs your attention until the end of time, why not condense it and prioritise? Get a blank piece of paper and write down several tasks that have to be completed by the end of the day. Not only will you feel much better when you’re able to tick off a whole checklist of tasks before you go to bed but you’ll be able to focus more on each individual one – allowing you to complete it to a higher standard.
2. LACE UP
You’ve probably heard it time and time again – exercise releases endorphins which reduce stress and quite frankly, make you feel fantastic. There are countless studies that have linked increasing amounts of exercise to a reduction in stress and sadness. You might hate the gym but love road running. Or maybe you have a favourite sport? When I can, I love to go to the gym first thing in a morning. I feel like it starts my day right, giving me a natural boost and energy for the rest of the day. If you’ve got a huge workload to tackle, allow yourself a break to lace up and head outdoors (weather permitting of course) for a short walk. And if like me you love a coffee break, walk to your nearest cafe – you’ll be surprised at how much of a difference a bit of fresh air makes.
3. REWARD YOURSELF
Don’t underestimate the importance of treating yourself. Whether it’s dinner out with a friend or a little online purchase in your lunch break (guilty), make sure you’re rewarding yourself for all your hard work. A friend once told me to buy myself something tangible on a regular basis, whether it’s a handbag I’ve been lusting after or a jumper I’ve had my eye on. It might sound materialistic to some but to me, it’s a reminder of how hard I’m working and a little celebration that I can afford to buy myself nice things once in a while. Treating yourself can be the light at the end of the tunnel; finish that essay and then buy the shoes that you can’t stop thinking about.
Missguided Jumper, Michael Kors iPad case (no longer available)
4. TAKE 5
Been stationed at your desk for hours on end; legs cramping and mind wandering? Take 5. Whether you grab a book, read a magazine or watch one episode of your favourite TV series (avoid Netflix as one episode rolls into the next and you end up losing track of time – I’ve been there), allow your mind to switch off and indulge in an activity completely unrelated to work. You might even want to have a clear out or if you’re one of those rare people rumoured to enjoy cleaning, do the dishes or run the hoover round. Whatever helps you to relax, do that. Your mind will feel so much clearer when you get back to work.
With family, with friends or your other half – reconnect and reach out. We all need to feel loved and supported in order to do well and sometimes, a quick phone call is all it takes for you to feel positive and re-energised. Whether you talk about work or something else entirely, it can often be helpful to get a different perspective and listen to what someone else has to say.
With a bit of luck, these tips might help with your mid-week rut. But if you’ve got any other suggestions to boost productivity, please do share them with me!
Love, Beth xo.
Disclaimer: all items marked with an asterisk have been gifted to me for promotional purposes.