How To Be Productive

Friday, April 17, 2015

via pinterest

The irony of this post is that I waited until 4 PM to begin it. XP

Procrastination always hits me at this point in the semester, when spring is upon us, when all the end-of-year events are being planned, when graduation is on the horizon for some and finishing another year of education for others: it's the beginning of the end, the fourth quarter, and the last thing I want to do it sit my bum down and solve logarithms, or study for the ACT. (I actually did a post about the dull days recently; you can read it here.) Overtime, however, I've come up with my methods, tried and true, to keep me on top of things (hint: it's mostly how you think about it, and mental tricks are everything). Here's how I stay on top of things, from school to work to life.

1. MAKE A TIC-LIST
You know me - I love my lists; they keep me on top of things and they make anything remotely difficult a simple matter of proceeding from one thing to the next, following the bullet-points, checking the boxes. Maybe that's horribly dull of me, but it makes me feel accomplished to have those boxes checked - and I think I'm not alone there. Writing things down helps me remember - and it probably will you, too.

2. BRING OUT THE LIPPY
I don't know what it is - I honestly don't - but when I feel like I need to get something done, swiping on a really punchy color just puts me in the mood to do it. I encourage you to give it a try and see how it works for you; and if you're not a lipstick person, I find changing the shoes you're wearing have the same effect. It's the Ronald Reagan principle, and it really, truly works.

3. KEEP STOCK
Whenever I feel unproductive (or as my brother likes to call it, "Blah") I go back to different folders of happiness I keep scattered around my life. Whether it's a secret Pinterest board of happy pictures, links to blog posts I enjoyed or that uplifted me, or simply my quickly-filling box of letters, envelopes of all widths and depths that contain pages of warm, companionable hand-written words. Whatever it is that boosts your mood, keep a tab on it for the days when you'll need it - you'll be surprised at how much more productive you are when you've given yourself a moment to someone else's productivity and want to emulate it.

How do you cope with feeling "Blah" and unproductive? Let me know in the comments! 

9 comments

  1. Setting a time limit helps me step up productivity when I know a break is ahead :)

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    1. Yes! I often set little things to look forward to (a blog post I'm interested in, cooking lunch, painting my nails) at the end of each hour so that I work harder in the given time limit. :)

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  2. Oh, I just finished a unit on logarithms, too! Are you taking Algebra II right now? I'm still a freshman so I don't have to worry about the ACT or SAT yet, but it doesn't sound very fun. I agree that tic-lists are so helpful. There's something so wonderful about checking items off a to-do list.

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    1. I'm taking a course in Advanced Algebra & Trigonometry, actually. :) Standardized tests are not fun, but there is a sort of thrill after finishing them, as if you can conquer practically anything. And of course, they do help quite a bit when graduating and all that comes in. XD

      I'm so glad to meet another list-lover. There's just something about checking off boxes that satisfies like nothing else. ^.^

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  3. Usually when I feel blah, sometimes I go and do what it is that I want to do. I know that sounds weird. But usually when I feel like that, it's because I've been pushing myself too hard and I need a break.
    So I go read a book or take a walk. Other times I just be productive in a different way. Instead of practicing guitar like I had planned, I might go write, or choreograph a clogging routine, and vice versa.
    Also when I have to get up early often, sometimes I give myself a few extra minutes and set a second alarm. After I've accustomed myself to this, I move both alarms up so that the second alarm goes off when the first originally did. It's a little mind trick that my subconscious will fall for if I don't let it in on the secret. ;)

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    1. That's a good point, Ashley - I guess it's the same I apply to writer's block, and it *does* work. And I'm a lot more liable to be productive if I've given myself proper room to breathe (only issue there, with me, is that I give myself too many breaks and don't get enough done. XP)

      I'll have to give the alarm trick a try! I tend to get up half an hour earlier than I need to, do my Bible reading, and snooze for a little bit before actually getting up.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. Lists, yes! I love lists. They help me organize my thoughts, and it always feels like an accomplishment to check a box or cross something out. ^ ^
    I also like putting on the energetic music. And if I've been procrastinating on something (like tidying up my room--don't I sound like such a little kid?), I break the task into little chunks. I'll clean my desk today, organize this shelf on the weekend, etc. Smaller goals often means hitting them more consistently.

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    1. Energetic music is always a good idea, as is breaking things up. There is something to be said for slow, consistent chipping away at things, and it's quite an effective method for completeling overwhelming projects without becoming - well, overwhelmed. ;)

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  5. Awkward. I'm actually procrastinating by reading this post. Maybe I should go work on my persuasive speech like I'm supposed to...
    Great post, as usual :)

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