10 ways to motivate yourself

Hi guys,

Today I would like to talk to you about some ways to motivate yourself and keep your motivation level throughout your day. Just imagine, being able to get a lot of things done. Each and every day. Seeing your to-do list getting smaller. So today, I am going to share with you some ways, how to stay motivated.

Here are 10 tips:

Keep switching types of your tasks

This is especially useful, if some of your tasks require you to sit in one place for some period of time, while the other need you to move.

Let’s say that in any given day you have to wash the dishes, write a report and do grocery shopping. In your analysis you estimated that writing a report is going to take you 4 hours. So you could start writing it first, after 2 hours take a break to wash the dishes and return to writing after that. As report is done, you can go to do your shopping. In this case, household tasks are becoming a break in your big task which is the report.

It is a lot easier to maintain motivation, if you will keep switching between task, where you sit and these requiring you being active, these outdoor with these indoor ones. This way each task will be sort of break after the previous one you’ve just accomplished.

Make starting your tasks as easy as you can

This one has changed my day a lot. If you are anything like me, you know (even better than you should) this feeling, when you feel so ready to take this run which you have planed the day before. You get out of bed, have a glass of water, light breakfast and of you go! Well, almost. Where are your running clothes? Ok, it will take just a while to find them in your wardrobe. Ok, now you are ready, you can go. Where did you leave your shoes last time? Quick search and you got them on your feet. This time, for sure you are ready, aren’t you? But it would be nice to have something to listen to. But what? You are creating running playlist very quick and when you are checking the time you realise that you wasted two hours already and you should have started writing this report for work an hour ago.

You decide that you are going to skip running today and go tomorrow instead. Now you really need to do your report. But where are your notes you’ve taken during the last meeting?

You know the circle. Before you even start, you will realise that you should be already working on next task and this way nothing really gets done.

Getting everything ready in place beforehand, will make you more likely to actually work as soon as you’ll ‘force’ yourself to πŸ˜‰ And this is how you are being productive instead of just being busy.

Remove distractions

This one you can probably see in each and every article or blog post about productivity. Well, probably for some reason. Getting distracted during your work, has similar result to the one from previous point.

Let’s imagine following situation. You planned to write your report. You made your tea, all your notes are waiting on your desk, so is your computer with text editor opened on the screen. Happy to start, you are sitting in front of the screen, you almost typed your title when… “ding!” – you just got notified on your phone that your sister updated her status on her social media profile. You are checking it. It will take maximum two minutes. She posted that some movie she has just seen, was amazing. Yeah, you wanted to see this movie. Ok, you’ll book tickets after your report. Well, but what if you’ll forget. Better to do this now, and work on your report right after. You go on cinema’s website, choose movie, time and place, pay and it is done. “Ding!” quick look and it is just message confirming your reservation. But wait, there is another message from your friend. Maybe something happened? It will be wise to actually check it. Uff, she is just asking how are you. Yeah, but you opened it, better to answer, otherwise you’ll forget and she’ll be upset. ‘I am ok. Just writing report for work. And you?’ You put your phone on desk, start typing your report. Ok, title page is done. “Ding!” Your friend just answered. She is fine too and would like to go for a walk with you this evening. You answer that it is ok, just when you finish your report, shouldn’t be late. You check the time and you realise that you just wasted half an hour. Better leave it today, and get ready for a walk. You’ll write your report when you’ll be back or even tomorrow. It doesn’t go well any way.

I think all of us have been there. It is not a secret that we spend much more time looking at our smartphones screens. We subconsciously are only waiting for this “Ding!” sound whatever we are doing. And don’t get me wrong, I am exactly the same. But since some time I’ve just decided, that when I intend to do some job, I swith off all sounds in my phone (vibration too) and put my phone out of my sight. And I am sorting all ‘important’ notification right after my task is done. This way, my task actually are getting done πŸ˜‰

Have a vision board

This is kind of tricky, because as a first step you have to actually make one πŸ˜‰ Just another task to complete. Ok, but before we start – what vision board is? It is a board, piece of paper or even file with your goals visualised. You can print pictures of your dreamed home, piles of money, exotic places or just smiling face of your child being happy after receiving his dreamed gift. Whatever the reason why you continue doing what you are doing, will work. And now, each time when your brain is trying to think about everything but your task, have a quick look at all this reason and go back to work. Just make sure that it will not become another distraction!

Plan realistically

Here is another one worth it to be mentioned. Having huge to do list full of tasks would probably make you feel proud, but only if you tick at least most of these boxes. If you you accomplish just few of thousands, it will just feel like a tear in a sea.

Just for your mental health, make sure that amount of tasks is equivalent to time you have. Otherwise you’ll be constantly disappointed with yourself and all your motivation will disappear as soon as it came (or maybe quicker, as you probably read this post because of lack of motivation).

Remember though, that if you’ll put less on your to do list, there will be still space on your list. If you’ll accomplish all of your tasks before next morning πŸ˜‰ you can always add a couple more. After all, it is better to do extra, than not do enough.

Have regular breaks

This is something you’ve probably heard millions of time, too. But here is the truth, we are not robots, we can’t just connect ourself to charger and we’ll be fine. We actually need some rest. Sleep, walk, meet people and eat. Simple as that. Not taking breaks might work for couple of days. If you are super human, maybe couple of weeks. But eventually, you are going to burn out.

So whenever you feel tired (but tired, not feeling like watching an episode of your favourite serial), take break, have a lunch or dinner with your friends, visit your grandma. Anything! Just forget about work for a while and relax.

Look at your obstacles as if they were an exam

Before I’ll explain, let’s establish something. In our life we have tasks and TASKS. Some of them are as easy as washing the dishes, where there are just two cups in the sink, but the other seem impossible to even start. And even if you will start you will soon realise, that you have no idea how to move forward with this thing. You are in very dead point where nothing seem to work.

And I am not talking now about overfilling chairs with clothes to iron in my spare room, because last three days were a laundry days after my washing machine arrived finally πŸ˜‰ this is thrilling, but you can do this. I am talking here about this project, which doesn’t want to give right results, this exam where you study honestly focused, but can’t understand even a small bit, this app which keeps crushing every time you want to compile it.

These kind of TASKS are the ONLY, when you can intentionally procrastinate. Just step back, work on anything else, take a break and don’t come back to it until the very next day. Remember, that hard things are your life exams. How do you deal with them, are you going to give up? This is what matters and this will determine, if you will succeed or not.

So try and push through hard things. Wait for some inspiration, if you need to or even ask for help. It’s not a shame to ask. This task might be your final exam. You will get an A by solving your problem and your dreams will become the truth, or you’ll see F by just giving up. It is your choice of course, but I think first option is more attractive.

Keep your environment clean

Did you hear the stories about students who clean the entire home like never before during exam period? Well, there is something right about this. When we have some task, which seems hard for us, we tend to look for anything easier to do. This way we still are ‘productive’, but we don’t really get important things done.

Keeping your environment relatively clean (it doesn’t have to be a sterile place) will reduce this kind of distraction. It will be harder for your brain to find an excuse not to focus on your task and as a result, you’ll be more likely to at lest make some progress in your work.

Schedule your time, not tasks

This isn’t always possible. I’ve started testing it before I had my son. And I’ve worked in this system for about two weeks. But let me explain the idea. Instead of having tasks like: finish my project you would have something like I’ll work on my project for one hour. You could also time when exactly you are going to start particular task. This way, no matter how far you did get while working, you are stopping your work as soon as your alarm starts ringing.

It worked quite well. However, I am aware this method isn’t for every one. As I mentioned, I stopped using it when my son was born, as I am not able to predict how long he is going to sleep each day. And there are some tasks I simply can’t work on, while looking after him. It probably wouldn’t work, if you have tons of deadlines the very next day. But if you are able, try this way. It has a great potential.

Make habit of getting your stuff done

This last one will not be helpful right away, as it requires a lot of time to establish. But if you will create a habits of working, if you will let accomplishing your tasks become part of your routine, you will not have to struggle each time to get yourself into doing something. It will be as natural as having your coffee or other beverage in the morning.

That’s all tips I have to share with you today. I am constantly testing new solutions so I might write continuation of this post in the future. I hope you’ll find my tips useful. If you have any other advises, feel free to share it in the comment section below.

For now I wish you a very productive day and I’ll see you in my next post.

Daria

Where shall I take motivation from?

Hi guys,

Today I would like to talk about days, when you just can’t do anything. Whenever you think about doing any work, you have a feeling that this is not the day. Everything seems impossible.

I think that these kind of days are happening to all of us. We are just humans and we can’t work day after day. That’s why it is important to take some breaks sometimes. However, if this happens to us every day for a long time, we should analyse what is causing that. There might be a lot of reasons for this, starting from tiredness, the nature of our tasks (they might be not something what we really enjoy to do), fear of failure (it is better not to start, if I might fail) or success (what will people think?) and in the worse scenario: it might be one of the signs of burnt out or depression. The last one is the worst, as it is a serious problem and it is very important to get help, if it is the case.

However, if you are sure that depression is not the case, there are some steps you can take to make yourself more motivated. First of all, is to determine what is causing this kind of behaviour. Maybe it is just tiredness and the only thing you need to do is to take some holiday (you can read here to see my advises before taking a holiday). Or simply one week of break from these tasks should do the job.

A bit harder thing is fear. Why so? To realise that you are afraid (whether of failure or success) might be very tricky. You can have that feeling without realising it. I used to be worried about failing. Although, I knew that every attempt of leaving my comfort zone will be connected with fear, I didn’t realised that it was keeping me away from work for quite long time. Similarly, applying for my uni two years ago made me feel same: “What if I will not manage language wise?” or “What if I will not be able even to get to university?” and finally: “What will people around me say? Will they make a fun of me?”. These were just some of the questions didding my head. And do you know what? None of them was valid. Ok, at the beginning it was a bit hard for me to understand what lecturers are saying to us. But eventually, I am able to follow their speach without special effort. Almost as English were my mother language. Well, it looks like practice really makes pefect and if I wouldn’t try, I wouldn’t know till now.

If your problem is the nature of tasks, this might be also quite hard to handle in some cases. But what you might want to consider, is to change subject of you actions. If this is not possible at the moment, just find something what you love to do and incorporate it into your schedule. I know, including more work, while you can’t force yourself to complete current tasks seems a bit weird. But remember, it does not have to be another task. Try to go for something what you actually enjoy doing. Maybe a netflix session? Going for a walk with your family? Choose what suits you the most and enjoy! Having something what you are looking forward to might motivate you to work. Any way, you’ll just finish these tasks and you are going to spend amazing time, aren’t you?

And I am going to leave you with this thought. I wish you a very productive day and I’ll see you in my next post.

Daria

What app do I use to stay organised and why?

Hi guys,

As I promised in my last post, today I will introduce you to an app I am using to plan and organise my tasks. But before I’ll move to the right topic, I will explain you what I have been using before and why I had to look for some online tool to handle all my projects.

As you might have noticed, I mentioned not too long ago that I am carrying on my planning in bullet journal. So far it was the most suitable system for me, as I could include in my each month set up as much or as less as I wanted. Moreover, it helped my creativity, as I used to make sure that my layouts are not only very useful, but they look pretty too. However, I found just one problem with bullet journal, which is I couldn’t use it anywhere I wanted. As I am commuting a lot, I needed something to allow me to add, check and edit my tasks for example in train, what happened to be impossible with my bullet journal. There where also some smaller issues, like I went for a meeting with my friends, but traffic jam made them late. As I haven’t planned to do any work, I haven’t taken my bullet journal with me, so usually I have wasted this time of waiting. Sometimes I had a new thing to do popping up into my head, but my notebook have been left in the classroom (for example when I was in uni), so I had to note it in my phone and transfer to my bullet journal later. But what made me sure that I have to look for some other way, was the fact that my schedule became very unpredictable. As I am finding out about my shift at the same day when I have to go to work, I can’t really treat my plan as something impossible to change. I needed something what will allow me to reschedule my tasks as many times as I want, without making my plan hard to read and understand.

All this made me look for a tool available on my devices like phone and computer. While searching for my perfect solution, I came across a lot of various planning apps. Some of them were free, some paid, there were a lot of good ones, but any of them seemed perfect for me. Always something was missing. I’ve tried few simple ones, which were just simple to-do list, where you add tasks and tick them as they are done. However, I couldn’t divide my tasks into categories; other apps offered this, but there was limited amount of projects I can add or limited amount of task I can have in one project.

I don’t remember any app which would allow me to assign tasks to different categories. This turned out very helpful for me, when I discovered Nozbe (although, it took me two weeks to figure out how they are going to work best for me). I am simply using them to mark places and tools I need to finish each task. Some of my categories are Home, Uni, Pen&Paper, Computer, etc. As I can assign multiple categories to one task, whenever I am waiting for someone or something unexpectedly, I am able to ask Nozbe to show me these tasks, which I can complete (or at least work on) at the moment.

The other good thing about Nozbe, is that it is very easy to change deadline for your task, or even remove it completely. There is also option to send a task to a special email created for you and from any device connected to the internet, you can add tasks to your app (I haven’t tried this option yet, but I’ve seen peoples opinions, that it is extremely useful for them).

Nozbe allows also to work in group. As more people are going to use it, as more expensive is subscription (free subscription allows you to have just five projects for one person). It has also a very fair price. After using it for a month (exactly 30 days of free trial), I had no doubts that this is what I need.

If you want to try Nozbe for free for one month, you can registerΒ here. Please, keep in your mind that, if you decide to purchase it after one month, I will get some commission out of your purchase, but it will not affect your price. So I would be very grateful, if you would like to support me this way. What I forgot to tell you, each user becomes Nozbe affiliate automatically, as application produces a link for you to share it as I just did. I found this option as I was going through Nozbe menu to describe it for you as well, as I can.

After a month, I will review this app one more time, after testing all options Nozbe has to offer (maybe except group work, as all my tasks are being performed just by me at the moment) and I’ll let you know whether I changed my mind.

But for now I wish you a very productive day and I’ll see you in my next post.

Daria