The most important lesson of productivity

Hi guys,

Today I would like to share with you the most important thing (at least in my opinion), that you have to know about the productivity. Something, what not every productivity guru will tell you (just to clarify, I don’t think I am any kind of productivity guru; I am just a small blogger sharing her struggle with everyday life).

There was a time when I shared with you that my to-do list is huge, as I have procrastinated too much. I was working my guts off to get on the top of it, but no matter how much I did, there were so many new tasks coming in, that I couldn’t manage it any way.

In the last week, I felt again how it is to get my to-do list overloaded with urgent things to do. Some time ago, we had an accident at home, as our neighbours flooded us and the ceiling in one of the rooms started falling down. Fortunately, this was our spare room, so no one has been hurt. Unfortunately, this was a spare room and we turned it into the place where we kept all stuff that we wanted out of our sight. And here is the part, which makes me ashamed of myself, which is that there were bags still unpacked since we moved in, which means since December.

Last week, while my landlord fought with the insurance company, I was trying to get it sorted. I won’t lie, I haven’t managed to do it yet. There were some bags with our clothes, my son’s clothes that are meant to be given away or sold, as they don’t fit him any more, little bits and pieces of everything you could imagine. Two bags of documents waiting to be sorted… And there is still one big wardrobe of bags which I haven’t even touched yet.

Last week my washing machine was working constantly during the day. Although I managed to wash everything from that room, our regular washing bins are already overfilling. I don’t want to even mention a huge pile of ironing waiting for me on the sofa in the living room. This is the hardest part, as I can iron only when my son sleeps. He loves all kind of wires, so he is tempted to pull the iron down each time when I turn to put an ironed clothes back. So just for his safety, I don’t iron when he is awake.

There is a lot of complaining in this post, you could say. And you would be right. But I also think, I have a right to complain. I have a right to feel overwhelmed. And this is today’s the most important thing you have to know. Although planning is very important for being productive, there will be a time when everything goes different than you planned. It might put you down and you have the full right to give up and take time to feel whatever you feel. You are just a human and so much as human.

The only thing is that make sure you’ll get yourself together quickly and come back on track as soon as it is possible. Get as much done as you can and eventually you’ll manage to get on the top of whatever happened. This is what I am saying, sitting in a home looking like a hurricane went through it. But regardless, I just feel, that I will manage to get it done soon.

And this is all I wanted to share with you today. I wish you as less hurricanes in your life as it is possible. But I also wish you the strength to go through your hurricanes, as they are there to make you stronger.

Have a productive day.

Daria

Living in a world of high expectation

Hi guys,

Today’s post will be a bit different than the usual ones. I won’t share any tips, any deep thoughts. But I will complain a bit instead. It is going to be kind of weird, as the only thing I can complain about is myself. So let me introduce the story.

As probably most of the world does, you might be forced to self isolate yourself. This is our reality, we are trying to fight the pandemic which flooded the entire world in just couple of months. It might have sounded amazing on the beginning (I mean staying at home, not pandemic itself). You know, this time you are going to spend with your family, this projects you’ve never had time before to work on or just simple sitting on the couch and watching tv. Now you were about to take some time off or start working from home and who said you can’t watch tv while working?

Everything sounds perfect (except all the bad things happening outside, especially growing numbers of new cases and people who actually didn’t make it, but this is a different topic). But after some time, you might have realised, that nothing changed. You got this extra hours (even if you are still working from home, you don’t waste any time for commuting), but nothing changed at all. There is still no time to start this project, watching tv isn’t as relaxing as it sounded before and you might have even started to miss your work place.

If you have been reading my posts for a while, you might have noticed that I have never enough time. That my to do list is getting bigger and bigger, just because I keep adding to it without getting anything or just a bit done. I am getting too tired to do anything after working a night shift. I am trying to spend as much time with my son as I possibly can. But still my other things are being left behind.

My company used to be closed for over six weeks. I had tons of spare time. But my to do list have reached a world record for the biggest amount of task on it. I just couldn’t set myself to work.

Today I’ve started wondering, what’s happened? What am I doing with all this time given to me for free? And finally, why do I feel so tired, when I do almost nothing?

And I came to some conclusions. Or more likely I can see some possible options. But the most likely one is I can’t force myself to do anything, if I don’t have any expectations set upon me.

Normally, we live in a world where there are expectations regarding all aspects of our life you could possibly think of. What kind of worker you are, how does your household look like, what kind of a husband/wife, child, parent you are? These are just some of the aspects and no matter what you do, there will be someone who will try to prove that you are doing it wrong.

There are also different kind of expectations, which are even harder to live with. The ones which you set yourself. These are more harder, as every time if you’ll do “not well enough”, you’ll not have to wait for anyone to point it. This person will be already there. Just because it will be this part of you, which is never happy with your work. This voice in your head saying that you should have spent more time and your results would be much, much better.

So let me talk about these last expectations for a while. Before my son was born, I planned to keep my home spotless, so he can grow in the best environment I can provide for him at the time. And although my home is never a complete mess, it isn’t spotless either. There are the days, where there is sink full of pilling up dishes, clothes to wash already doubling size of my washing basket. There are a days, when I can’t get myself to iron (you would probably get scared after visiting spare room in my home). Or when the trash bin is asking me to take it out.

The image of me having a baby made me feel like I have to find a good night shift job, so we can provide for our son’s decent life. I was sure I will manage it easily. I was sure I will be a bit tired, but will manage it till my son will go to the school or till I will manage to figure out getting some kind of business going on from my home (which I haven’t even started to think about so far). I was sure and I was wrong at the same time.

Although it was obvious, I haven’t realised that as my son will be born, things won’t change for better. Of course, my son is the best person coming to my life, but he is also the most demanding one. Since he was born, I forgot what does spare time mean. I have no idea what detailed planning is, as the best I am able to do now is to have plans like: “during his nap time, I will…” or “while he plays with his toys, I will…” There isn’t any particular time. All my life has been sacrificed for this little human being (well, sacrificed isn’t the best word, but he became my reason to do everything I am doing, no matter how hard it gets). But this is not the problem itself. As I said, my son is the brightest sunshine in my life, I wouldn’t change this for anything else. There is only one problem. Expectations. Expectations set by other people, which I can always ignore (although, not always I can manage it quickly). Expectations set by my son, regarding our routine (which I am glad to have). And finally, the hardest ones, expectations set by myself.

Since I have realised that, I’ve decided to stop expect anything from myself. I can’t do anything about other people’s expectations, but I can stop myself from doing it. I will still make my plans and to do lists, but I’m going to look at them like they were some kind of guide, not my duty.

There will be sink full of dishes left overnight? That’s fine. Never ending pile of ironing? Amazing! Well, not so amazing, as eventually I will have to do them, but still ok. But what is more important, I will not let to define myself by the amount of chores I am doing each day or amount of tasks I am getting ticked out of my to do list. How is it going to go? I will definitely share it with you after some time, as I see any change (either for better or for worse).

But for now I am going to end this post. I hope you enjoyed reading it and if you have any thoughts or advises regarding expectations, you are very welcome to share them in the comment section. For now, I wish you a very productive day (without any expectations, though) and I’ll see you in my next post.

Daria

How to work at home and don’t get insane – 10 tips

Hi guys,

Today is a kind of delayed post. Everything what’s going on at the moment all around the world can be very depressing. A lot of us are in self-quarantine, trying to stay sane. Some of us are supposed to work from their home, very often juggling their private life like looking after children, home and all this everyday’s things we used to do after we returned from work.

I won’t lie, this situation got on me a bit. After spending couple of weeks at home, while my employer was working to provide save environment for us to work, we returned to our workplace, having huge amount of work. By the time we got used to, we found out that company is closing and successively there will be stuff reduction going on. Also not being able to meet our friends and family is harsh too.

However, for all of us life is still going on. Being advised (or even forced) to stay at home, we have tree options I can think of. First, is to break the rules and put yourself and possibly many others into the risk. Second, is to stay at home and cry over your situation (I have to admit, I was doing so for the last weeks, since my company closed – not literally crying, of couese). Or third, which seems the most sensible to me at the moment, is to try and make the best of the time we have at home.

The last option has a lot of advantages too. Let’s try and think about our life, before all this started. In my case, it was constant running. Juggling working full-time job, looking after my son and trying to keep my home relatively clean. Just a bit of sleeping and the whole circle kept starting all over again. There were a lot of projects I wanted to work on (I did actually, but not as much as I would like to), if I only had more time. And guess what? Now most of us have a lot of free time! And a lot of us need something to take our minds off of the situation in the world. So why not to use this time to do as many things from our when-I’ll-have-time to do list? And before you’ll say anything, just admit to yourself that even if your list is not written anywhere, it does exist in your mind. Whether you wanted to learn something new, start your business, write a book, make your own game… When will be better time for it? As soon as world will return to norm, even on your days of from work you’ll have a lot of errands to run, friends to meet, appointments to attend… Most likely you don’t have any of this now. And even, if you have somewhere to go, there is much less places you have to be, and more time to use for all the things on your list.

So after such a long introduction, let me get into 10 tips on working at home. All of them are a result of my research, millions of YouTube videos I’ve watched and tons of blog post I’ve read. I think I could easily write a post with many more tips than 10, but I’ve decided to include just those, which I implemented myself and had worked foe me. Please keep in mind that not necessary all of them are going to work for you too. Let’s get right into the tips:

1. Get up early

I know, it seems weird. You don’t have to go anywhere, no more rushing to work or school and still you need to get up early? Ok, let me explain, what I mean by early. So ideally, it would be similar time, as you would normally. So let’s say you get up at 7 to get to work at 8? Try to put your alarm at 8 instead. You’ll get an extra hour of sleep and at the same time, you won’t sleep the entire day. But key word in this tip is to get up early, not just wake up. I find it difficult to roll out of my bed as soon as I wake up. I would be able to stay there even, if I no longer asleep. Getting up and making your bed as soon as your are out of it, will set you into productive day. The other advantage of this tip is that when it will be all over, it will be easier for you to adjust to the old routine, when you will finally return to work.

2. Stick to your old routine

Try to remind yourself, what were you doing when you used to leave to work every morning. Probably you showered, eaten some breakfast, or simply got dressed. What ever it was, you should keep doing it. It can bring a lot of benefits not only for the time when you are staying at home, but also for when you are returning to work. You will have less trouble adjusting, when the long waited time is going to come and there will be no sing of virus left. On the other hand, now you will feel more productive, just because your brain will feel, that everything seems to be normal, no changes.

3. Set up your office

This might be easy for those of you, who have a spare room at home as it can become your temporary office. You could even leave it as an office for good, if you only wish. But, if you are like me, where there isn’t any spare place or room, try and designate just small office area. In my case it is a small table I ordered recently and I did put it my living room. I can easily fold it, if I need some extra space to play with my son, but anytime I need it, I have my office corner in no time. The only thing you try to avoid is to work from your bed (if there is no other choice, because you rent a box room for example, bed should do, but it will make it a bit harder, as it will be very tempting to just take a nap insead of doing a job).

Having this designated space, will help you to set your mind into the working mode. As you will be physically commuting into the work place. You would also have some space, where your work stuff like computer or folders could wait to be used, without the necessity of looking for them each time when you want to work.

4. Get your kids entertained

This point requires you to be creative too. Everything depends here on your children’s age. My son is 13 months now, so I work when he has his nap or when he is surrounded with his toys and I know that as long as I’ll stay in same room, he will take at least an hour to go through all of them and get bored. I started implementing these techniques since one week (as I said, all this got me a bit depressed) and on last Friday we got a message that we are returning to work (I am considered a key worker, as bakery provides food). So tonight will be my third night at work, and this first two days still went pretty well. To get a bit more time I extended my son’s screen time from 30 minutes a day to 1 hour a day (not at one time of course) and I am using early mornings to have a bit of a sleep, and similar my son’s nap time became my nap time too.

5. Keep your home clean.

This might seem obvious, but at the same time it is so tempting to skip dusting couple of times in a row. Especially, if you are pretty much sure that there will be no unexpected visit of your friends or family. However, it is very important, that you keep your home relatively clean at least. It will keep you motivated, as who does not know this feeling that you have to clean now, even of you have so much work to do?

6. Prepare your action plan the day before.

This is the important one too. I am not sure if there is any worse thing to do than sit, ready to work. Believing that you are going to do so much, but… as you sit you realise that you have no idea what to do. This is another one known probably by most of us. But what an action plan really is? If we have our to-do list we should be fine, shouldn’t we? Well, not always. There might be days, when you sit at your desk (or wherever you have to accomplish your task) and you start thinking: ‘Where is my notebook? I need it to start..’ And you are getting up to pick it up from the shelf on the other side of the room. Back by the desk and wondering where did you leave your favourite pen, after laptop, you have no charger, this and that…

You were ready to start your work long time ago, but you already wasted so much time and effort that you actually got a bit hungry. Some snack will definitively set you up for work. Yeah, but these salty crisps, you’ve just eaten, made you a bit thirsty…

I think you know where it all is going. Preparing an action plan is to going through your to-do list and making all tasks on it as easy to start as possible. You could prepare some stacks of things, you will need to accomplish all of the things from your list and after just grabbing them as your tasks are being completed. This way, you reduce some of the excuses to not to start actual work.

7. Take breaks as you would in a regular job.

This is something what a lot of us keep forgetting. When you’ll finally manage to start your work, it might make you lose sense of time. However, as longer you work without break, as less efficient you’ll become. It is even more important, if your work includes sitting by the desk by the screen. It is very important to give some break to your eyes and to stretch your muscles.

Nowadays, there are a lot of tools which can be very helpful in this case. You can download any of the pomodoro apps, where you can set up for how long you intend to work and how long you want your break to be. Your phone will let you know with the alarm, when it is time to stop work or to return to it.

8. Write reasons why are you doing this and hang it in visible place.

To be honest, this one seemed a bit useless to me at first. Why shall I waste my time for writing things I already know? But if you’ll look at this realistically, there will be many tasks which will seem a bit overwhelming. Or you’ll just get stuck in so called dead point, where you just can’t carry on, because you have no idea how to solve the problem you came across. All this might make you give up and keep procrastinating again. If you’ll have all the reasons why do you want to complete particular tasks, you will be more likely to stay motivated and continue.

9. Spare one day a week to precook for the next days.

This saved my life a lot. I used to thing about type of meal I want to cook since the time I woke up. Even when I was doing other things, my mind kept going away to this topic. Having some prepared meals in your freezer or fridge (depends on for how many days you prepared your food) will take your mind off of this topic and help you focus on the things you have to do.

10. Have any kind of physical activity every day.

This advice is very important especially for people, who’s work does not require them to work. Having some physical activity, especially in the morning will give you great kick of energy for the day (I know it seems impossible, as exercising makes you tired, but since I’ve started doing at least mild exercise like going for a walk with my son, made me a lot more productive).

This way we went through all of ten tips. I hope they will be useful for you and help you achieve your goals and get on the top of your to do list as soon as it is possible.

That’s everything what I’ve prepared for today’s post, I hope you enjoyed it. If you have any other advises or tips on working from home, you are very welcome to share it in the comment section below.

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

Daria

How do I work with small baby at home?

Hi guys,
Today I would like to talk about a topic, which you can find a lot of questions about everywhere in the internet. There are a lot of people sharing their way of working with small baby at home, how they can to fit these two full time jobs (yes, having a baby is a full time job too, with no holiday or sick days). Answer is very simple: prioritize and make sure you are getting your stuff done whenever you can. Get as organised as you possibly cab.
I used to watch a lot of youtubers explaining how do they manage to work full time, while looking after baby or babies. They usually mention a lot of ways to make things they are doing last for as long as possible, like cook for three days, do light cleaning (like dusting, picking up stuff, etc) every day, and leave proper cleaning for one day a week. There are also advises to work while your children are asleep or busy with themselves (most of cases are for youtubers who work at home) and many more. However, the most common advice, repeating in almost every video I saw, was to use help of your family, like parents, cousins, etc.
Well, definitely great advise, there is only one problem in my case: both me and my husband are immigrants in London. My family lives in Poland, so it is a bit far for them to pop up whenever I need. My husband is from India, you can guess they might find it even more difficult to come.

So me and my husband had to manage on our own. And I must say, that our way is not perfect yet, even for us. But we are slowly but surely getting there. So let me tell you how do I work at home, after full time night shift job, while looking after baby at the same time.
First thing, is that we are trying to set our routine, which we are still working on. It is not perfect (I would say, there is still more to do, than it has been done already), but slowly, changing one thing at the time in our’s son’s life, we keep making it work well for us. I can’t say, there aren’t any obstacles on the way. When we wanted to move his sleeping time just for one hour earlier, we ended up with the little guy not sleeping during the nights at all for aprox. a week. But he is getting used to the new things. Also, he is ten months old now, so he likes to play on his own for a bit longer than he used to (usually no longer than half an hour and I need to sit not too far to make sure he won’t have any dangerous ideas), so this is the time I am using to plan my work day. After that I play with my son, take him for a walk, feed him again, change his nappy and it is nap time for him. It usually lasts for at least one hour, up to two. After he wakes up, I feed and change him again and spend some more time with him (yes, my life consists mostly of changing nappies 😉 ), before I need to leave to work. My husband is back from his work around half an hour before I need to leave, so this is time when he takes over looking after the little one while I am getting ready to leave.
Also, there are these moments when my son just sits on my laps and keeps falling asleep or play with my clothes or some toys. That time I am trying to do as much as I can too (although I can’t call it the most productive time of my day).
What about my chores? How does my home look like? Well, it is not as bad. Me and my husband share responsibility of keeping home clean. We do whatever it needs to be done. We have also some hacks, to make the process easier. For example, we cook more than we are able to eat and freeze the left overs, we do washing, when pile gets really big, this way we make sure that the washing machine isn’t running half empty. And we take turns in cleaning all the areas in home such a way, that each of us has just a small area to clean each day (let’s be honest here, except bathroom, kitchen and keeping floors clean on a daily basis, there is not such a thing like everything has to be clean every day). For some it might sound a bit weird and gross. But this is how it is. You can’t eat a cookie and have a cookie at the same time. You must give up on something, to be able to do something else. I can’t resign from my full time job just yet, as our finances would look horrible; I don’t want to sacrifice time for my son; the only thing left is home. It will not be spotless for some time, but it isn’t dirty either. So we can manage it 😉
And that’s it for today’s post. I hope that you enjoyed reading it. If you have some advices, please share them in the comment section below, I will be glad to read all of them. I wish you a very productive day and I’ll see you in my next post.
Daria

Keep your bullet journal with you at all times and set it up before you are going to use it.

Hi guys,

Today I will continue my little series about New Year resolution. As you must have seen in the title of this post, I will explain why I’ve decided to include keeping my set up bullet journal with me where ever I’ll go.

Let’s get right into the topic. Firstly, why bullet journal? And answer for that is very simple. As the idea of bullet journal is that you are designing it by yourself, it gives me flexibility to include everything I need in one place. Also, I can alter the amount of place needed each month for my planning accordingly to the amount of things I have to do. Thanks to that, I can’t run out of the space and be forced to keep writing my important things in random places and have to look for them when I need it. On the other hand, there is no waste of space when I don’t need as much space as I could have in pre printed planner.

Another advantage in my opinion is that process of setting it up itself is very relaxing. This year I’ve decided to make my bullet journal very colourful, with a theme for each month and a lot of doodles. This way I hope to practice drawing (at least exercise my hand to be able to make decent simple pictures). This was one of the reasons, why I went for a traditional journal, instead of any app (they are apps for bullet journaling available too, if you are more of I-keep-everything-online person). The other reason is, that I am not relying on battery level in my phone. I don’t have to be worry that, if app I am using will disappear from the market, all my schedules, plans, etc. will be gone with it.

Very important thing in my opinion is the fact that drawing and playing with colours in my bullet journal really boost my creativity, which is very important for me now, as I am working on my own apps. It will require a lot of decisions to be made, problems to solve and ideas, which will allow me to make my app a decent product. Creativity will be very appreciated, when I will run over a difficult problem.

Also by setting it regularly, I hope to work on my responsibility. As you might have noticed, there are a lot of things ‘I will do’ and I mostly end up not even starting them. Having this one thing I have to do on a monthly basis, is a beginning of working on my personality. But this is a subject for another post.

Let’s get into the part of keeping my bullet journal with my all the time. There are a lot of situation in my life, when idea comes to my mind. Although, I do all my best to remember it, I tend to let it be replaced by every day things. Having my bullet journal with me, will allow me to record everything and think about sense of it whenever I’ll have some time to spare. This way, I hope to be more focused on present, instead of trying to think about the future. Having it set up upfront will make prepared for anything popping out throughout the day (hopefully).

I hope that this short post explained you the reason, why having bullet journal on hand is so important that it became my 2020 resolution.

That’s it for today’s post. I wish you a very productive day and I’ll see you in my next post.

Daria

Have a list of projects, but focus on maximum two at the time

Hi guys,

Today I would like to explain you one of my 2020 resolutions. It might seem obvious for some of you, others might be thinking why this kind of resolution? So let me explain you what have made me to make this decision.

If you have read my oldest post, you might realised that I’ve been trying to get a lot of things at the same time. Because of this my to-do list has grown to huge sizes. There was no chance to complete even half of the task I had, although I haven’t got a child at the time. It was just too many things I’ve been working on.

And the biggest problem was that I still kept having new ideas and wanted to incorporate them in my over filled schedule. There was always something I potentially could do. The only problem was time, so I kept ending up not focusing on any of my projects properly and not getting anything done. I’ve always had the feeling that I will miss great opportunity, if I will not at least try. And this circle was going on continuously.

That’s why one of my New Year resolutions is to have a list of projects, but focus on two at the time. This way, I will not forget about any ‘great’ idea, but I will have to complete at least these, which might be useful or provide my development. When I complete one thing (or after three monts I’ll decide that it wasn’t the best of the ideas), I’ll pick another project to focus on.

At the moment, I am working on two projects: I am setting up my YouTube channel (I know, I keep talking about it for a long time, but now you know why it never worked) and I work on my app (well, actually it will be just a website at first; as it will start running, I will work on a mobile version of it).

Having just two important things, I can each day include at least a small task bringing me closer completing them (and I can actually manage to get these tasks done). This small change has made me much less stressed and motivated to work towards my goals.

And new ideas? There are plenty of them. But now they are out of my mind in my bullet journal waiting for their turn.

With this thought I would like to finish this post. I wish you a very productive day and I’ll see you in my next post.

Daria

How to handle to-do list with multiple overdue tasks?

Hi guys,

Today I would like to tell you about getting behind. As bad and scary it sounds, unfortunately it is a reality for many of us (if not all of us). Lately, I had fallen behind as well and when I thought I’ve started getting out on straight path with my work, there were so many new tasks coming (what might be a disadvantage of planning ahead), that it was again getting out of my hands. You could also realise that, because since last two weeks one post each week was missing. I was even considering shifting for two posts a week, instead of three, but I have decided that this is not the best solution. Running away from the problem will not really solve it. So even if I had to miss two or three posts, I am back on track (at least I hope so 😉 ).

However, more regular posting doesn’t mean that I made up my other tasks. They are still hanging over my head and waiting to be done. I wanted to show you my planning process in details. I’ve mentioned that I am using Nozbe and a bullet journal, but I have never explained how they are co-working in my case. And this post will appear as soon as I will manage to bring my tasks up to date (especially university-related, as my coming due date will not allow me to attend second dates of assignments and exam). All because I know that explaining this process will take a bit more time.

But coming back to today’s topic, I believe that most of us (if not all) at least once in their life came across the situation, when to-do list seemed not end and looking for a solution for that (which by the way, makes our tasks being left behind for a little more) became some kind of obsession. And guess what? There are tons of advises for people like we are out there! Unfortunately, to read about them is taking unbelievable amount of time (which actually used for working on our tasks would bring us a bit closer to handling this huge list) and not all of these advises are worth it to be read. There are many of them repeating, but being named differently.

So going through these advises and pretty much wasting my time, I came across the only one, which seem really work. And it does require from you just one thing: keep getting your tasks done! There is no magic method to get everything done within one day (especially if you really got behind a lot), but everyday work, where you are getting as much done as you can will make you handle your to-do list (even if it will happen after week or two).

When I have started working this way, I had to carry on around 15 tasks for next day (yes, I got so badly behind) and at the moment I got to the point where just 5 to 8 tasks are being migrated to the next day. To get to this point took me two weeks, where I was checking task after task every single day.

So the best advice I can give you on this topic is to make sure you will prevent this from happening. Make sure that when you see you are starting getting behind, you will take an action right away to prevent it.

But if you are already at the point that even looking at your to-do list cause some headache and you don’t want to even think of sorting this out, I did just one thing which made me getting closer to not-scary-at-all-to-do list.

First of all, don’t really look for a solution, just keep working on your tasks. Start from these, which should be done long time ago and keep handling them (well, if you have something what is very important to be ready soon, and these overdue tasks can wait just a bit longer, you can start from it). For a time being, keep moving less important tasks for a next day (not longer, as you don’t want to move your problem further). For, example, I have my cleaning divided for parts of the home. I usually clean each part every day (like dusting, hoovering, mopping the floor, etc.), plus deep cleaning once a week. However, at the moment I resigned from it. I mean I still clean my home, but I am handling just one part of the home each day (except for the dishes which are being washed every day and toilet, just for the hygiene). Also I used to cook every day, as my goal for this year is to keep eating out to the minimum, but since two weeks I am cooking for at least two days (it takes very similar amount of time, but you have every second day cooking free).

Second thing is to prioritise. If you have tasks with deadline approaching, but nothing really will happen, if you’ll make them later (I have this kind of tasks related to my personal project: I gave them a deadline, but moving this deadline just a bit will not make a lot of harm really), move them for next day. Why it is important to keep moving your tasks just for one day? Before I took this strategy, I kept moving them more, like one week or something close to that. What happened, my to-do list became very light (at least for the next few days), so I just relaxed and slowed down with my work. However, when the week passed, I was in exactly same situation. Having these tasks moved just for a day will keep you remember about them. And what is important, carry on moving your tasks for the next day, just when you are not going to do anything else today. Your goal is to get as much done today as you can, so don’t make your daily list very short.

And what’s very important, is to remember that for these time when you are making up your work, you have to do all your best not to procrastinate. It is very satisfying to check these tasks each day, so try to motivate yourself this way.

And this is all I wanted to share with you in today’s post. I hope you enjoyed it. 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

Breaks and productivity

Hi guys,

Today I would like to talk about having a break. So far, I’ve been giving you tips on how to plan, stay productive and creative, etc. However, huge part of productivity is having breaks and holiday. We are not machines, who can work constantly. We would simply burn out very quickly. That’s why we should be including breaks in our schedule.

Ok, but sometimes having a break might seem impossible. This stress connected to busy schedule, deadlines being always just around the corner.. all this can make it impossible to rest, as our mind is still thinking about all this things. Sometimes, this is even the reason of all these sleepless nights and days passing by in zombie mode. All this make us very frustrated and is slowly bringing our motivation level towards the bottom. You must agree that it is very hard task to stay on the top of things, when we are exhausted.

That’s why it is very important to find time for resting and holiday from time to time. No matter how much packed is your schedule, it should be your priority to squeeze at least one hour for yourself each day. Time, when all your tasks stop existing, but there are only you, your family and friends instead. And maybe some netflix session from time to time 😉

This might seem impossible at some times, but as you include these breaks in your schedule, you’ll be able to enjoy your free time without feeling guilty.

And now, let’s talk about holiday. Like a proper, at least couple of days off, where you go somewhere out of the town, or just stay at home, but forget that you have anything to do. And as having a couple of hours just for yourself might already seem to be quite impossible, holiday require some preparation in advance. First of all, you might try to squeeze as many extra tasks before your time out, so there are as less deadlines hanging on you as possible.

If your project requires you to do something regularly (like posting something on your website, preparing some courses, etc.), make it in advance and schedule for the right time. Also, if you have some projects which must be ready around your holiday time (like school assignments, work projects, etc.), get them done before, so you can have less on your mind during your break.

And the most important thing, if you are able not to take any new challenges for some time, just don’t take them. As you return, there will be a lot of time for this and your holiday will be fully yours at the same time.

This is what I would like to share with you in today’s post. I hope you enjoyed it and as always, I wish you a very productive day. I’ll see you in my next post.

Daria

How to plan, when so many unexpected things happen?

Hi guys,

Today I would like to tell you about time management, when your daily routine is full of unexpected events, so you can’t really predict what is going to happen. I’ll explain it on my example: since I’ve started working, I never know when my shift is going to happen, as at the moment I am working through agency. This means that I will get a message each midday, whether I can go to work or not.

That makes me unable to plan what I intend to do today evening (especially that I will be in university till 4:30; having a shift tonight means that I have to go to work straight after).

And there might be many more situations of this kind. You might have children, who are unpredictable; you might have some health issues that make you unable to know, how are you going to feel each day, etc. In fact, as many people in the world, this many possibilities.

So if you are in this kind of situation, how can you achieve your long term goals? We already know, that incorporating tasks from you plan into your schedule is impossible, isn’t it? Well, not really. You just need to be a bit more clever than all these unexpected events. Let me explain, how am I trying to cope with this.

First of all, I always make sure that I plan two days at a time, and each of these days doesn’t have too many tasks scheduled. Seeing just two things to do is going to make you more likely to actualy do this. The other thing is, that I am trying to schedule for these days tasks, which I will be able to do in as many places as possible, or in the place, where I have to be any way.

For example, this post is a task, which I can write while I am commuting, at home or in uni. Or even during the break at my work. That makes it a perfect task for today. Similarly, as I am going to be in university any way and I will have my computer with me, I am able to work on some parts of my assignments. That gives me few tasks being checked today.

Similarly, if I have no work today, I’ve already scheduled some tasks for tomorrow and I can work on them instead. Having two light days of tasks ticked as done, gives me one quite productive day. And as soon as I’ll finish my day, I can plan next day again.

This way, I am not the most productive person in the world, but at least I am taking an advantage of all the available time I have. Although, I move towards my goals much slower than I wish to, I am still closer than if I would decide that I have no time and simply gave up.

This is the only tip I will share with you today, because I am taking advantage out of only this one. As I will try some more, I will let you know.

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

Daria