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 😉 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 😉

Have a vision board

This is kind of tricky, because as a first step you have to actually make one 😉 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 😉 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 😉 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

Set up a routine which works for everyone at home and stick to it

Hi guys,

Today I will talk about last of my 2020 resolutions. As you could see in this post, I have decided to focus on some things which are very important to me at the moment. It might seem that I went easy on myself this year (and this is most likely true), but I wanted to set goals, which will be possible to achieve. A lot of them (if not all in some way) are connected to my financial situation, as this is the biggest problem at the moment. Although, I know that there are a lot of people in much worse situation, I am also aware that in case of any emergency, we will struggle to get back on our feet, if we will not fix it as soon as possible.

This is one of the reasons why we need to set up a routine. Having me and my husband working full time is helping us to keep paying our debt relatively quickly. But it also makes it very hard to manage. We were advised to employ someone to look after our son while we are in work. But I can’t trust any stranger to look after such small baby, especially that even if something would go wrong, he wouldn’t be able to tell us. This forced us to work in different shifts and as I can’t imagine being all day away from my son, I’ve chosen night shift (night shifts are hard too, but at least when I am working, little guy is sleeping most of the time).

There are some small things I would like to achieve in our family life, even though me and my husband are working on different shifts. I wish to be able to spend as much quality time with my son as it is possible, I would like to spend time with my husband and make sure that both of us can have time for ourselves (whether it is for working on personal projects or just relaxing). I want to make sure that our home is clean and that there is always food in our fridge too. It might seem impossible, especially with a small child. Some of you might think that I am neglecting my son just because I am working full time and I, dreaming about free time, might seem like a horrible mother. But I am a true believer that sacrificing all your dreams and goals for a baby will not do well for you and at the end for your child. Also, I think that being able to get an extra income is good for my son too. Hopefully, very soon will be able to put some funds aside for his future, we’ll be able to buy a home, so wherever life is going to take my son, he’ll always have a place to come and forget about all his problem. And finally, we’ll be able to provide for his development, give him opportunities to find his way, by simply being able to afford things, he wants to try.

Kids are very amazing and they learn unbelievably fast. But at the same time, they are not reading books or taking various courses secretly. They are learning by watching their surrounding. Especially in the beginning of their lives, we, as a parents, are all their world. I want to create believe in my son’s head that he can manage a lot of things, without neglecting anything, as long as he will try very hard. And that if you work hard on something you love doing, you can steer your life in any direction you want.

Altgough, I would like to share our routine now, I haven’t found any so far. We are still testing and keep changing small bits and pieces of it. I might be even wrong and I can’t make it work for all of my requirements, but about this I am going to tell you, when we are going to find something what will be at least the best for us.

And this is it for today’s post. I hope you enjoyed reading it. If yes, I will appreciate if you will like this post and leave your thoughts in this subject in the comment section (I will be happy to read and reply to every single comment). But for now I wish you all a very productive day and I’ll see you in my next post.

Daria

What shall I study to find a job after?

Hi guys,

Today I would like to talk about something what have been bothering me for a long time, namely: new responsibilities. As we are all living in rapidly changing world, where we can’t really be sure what is going to happen tomorrow, we are exposed to many unexpected situations. On the top of this, more and more often we can hear, that soon robots are going to replace people in many jobs.

Sometimes, during conversations with my friends, I am finding out that they don’t see any point in further learning, as it will leave them as another uneployed master or phd diploma holder. And unfortunatelly, very often they are right. Especially if they are associating their education with standard institutions only, like schools, universities and some kind of courses on top of that. Even now, we have a lot of people being graduated with the best possible marks, but still struggling to find a job of their dream. But on the other hand, there are a lot of people, who hardly graduated from primary school, but doing great any way.

So what in reality matters when we are trying to plan our future? How to choose a degree, which will not end up as three years being wasted, leaving us with student loan? While thinking about answers for these questions, I came up with some tips for myself:

  • Whatever degree you choose, make sure you have a plan

This is very important thing for me. Starting a university, you are going to learn a lot of various things. At the same time, you are not going to need all knowledge, which you are going to get there. Having some kind of plan might help you decide, on which subjects do you need to focus more and which of them require you to have just some basic knowledge. Even if during your course you’ll change my mind, you will still have basic knowledge to explore the topic much quicker.

  • Make sure that you are going to learn something, what is interesting for you

This is something what a lot of people are forgetting about. Studying for even just three years might be quite a hard task. But if you study something what makes you bored… well, I wish you good luck… But if you are thinking that it is just three years, you can survive it, remember that there are many years of work in choosen profession ahead of you. So maybe it is worthed to consider, wether you really can survive?

  • Don’t focus just on your university work

I think, this is the most important thing. While you are learning, try to find as many opportunities as you can to gain some experience. It is connected with your plan. You might try to gain skills, which you will be able to take advantage in your future work of (and they don’t have to be gained in your dream field of work). Try to meet as many people from your future field. They are experienced and they can keep advising you during your learning process.

  • Don’t stop learning

Having your dreamed job, doesn’t mean that you are done with learning. As I mentioned at the begining, today’s world changes with light speed and you need to keep up with it. So make sure you do and you’ll be able to sleep with peace. If you think that your profession might disappear in short future, learn something new, so you’ll have more opportunities when you are forced to look for new job.

To summarise, living in changing world requires from us much more awareness and taking responsibility for our choices. We can’t think just about present, but we should consider how our skills might help us in the future. Just in case, if what we intend to do, does not exist any more.

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

Daria

Another point of view about changes

Hi guys,

As I said last time, I am returning to my schedule and this is the first post being on track. I have decided to postpone it a bit, because of all my deadlines in university and Christmas preparation, but here I am. I can’t believe that I have managed with catching up in my university. At the beginning it seemed manageable, but as I started working on all assignments, I’ve realised that there is much more to do than I thought. Any way, everything is ready now, so let’s move into today’s topic.

I am about to touch the subject, I have been talking about on this blog many times. However, today I would like to share a bit different point of view at it. Today, I am going to figure out, if there is as many changes as I thought there are. Obviously, they are some. Our environment changes, people around us change and finally each of us changes too. We experience new things every day and as a result we start looking at everything in a bit different way. And here came my question: as our perception changes, is it possible that in reality nothing else changes? Is it possible that because of the fact that we change, we look differently at things and we think they have changed, while we are the ones who are different?

I would like to share with you two examples. First of them are all the things we used to like as a children, but we don’t like them any more. In my case, there will be a lot of cartoons I used to watch as a child. That time they seemed very interesting and funny, I couldn’t forgive myself, when I missed even one episode (especially that at that time it was impossible to catch up online after) and basically it was so huge part of my life. Recently, I have been watching some of them again with my cousins and I can say that some of these old cartoons are valuable (however much more boring than they seemed to be in the past), while the other are just stupid. And looking for something funny in them does not make any sense.

The other thing is Christmas. I remember that as a child I used to wait for it since summer holiday ended. I couldn’t wait to meet my cousins, all family, to find out what Santa Claus is going to leave under the tree… All this made this time very special. It was hard to wait so long and so many times I wished that Christmas happened more than once in a year. At the moment, there is no such excitement. There are gifts, there is a family and of course I still enjoy it. But it is not the same any more. Maybe it is because of all magic, I used to believe as a child. Well, I don’t any more… And although Christmas is still very similar to this from my childhood, there are same people (more or less) coming to celebrate, the whole experience is completely different. Not as joyful as it used to be.

These two examples (well, I have some more, but I think you’ve got the point 🙂 ) shows, some things, which haven’t changed in a long time. But the way how we look at them make them completely different, than they used to be. So sometimes it might be worth it to stop and ask this one question:

Did anything change around me? Or it is just me, looking at it in the different way?

And with this questions I am going to leave you today. I hope you enjoyed this post and I see you on Wednesday. I wish you a very productive day

Daria

PS. By the way, I hope your Christmas were amazing and very merry. I haven’t got chance to wish you all the best before 😉 And of course I wish you a happy New Year!

Forbidden friut tastes the best

Hi guys,

Today is a third day since I have returned to work. And I have mixed feelings about it. First of all, I hate being out of work doing nothing. I know that health is the most important (that is the reason, why I haven’t do anything; usually, I tend to break doctor’s rules). However, last few days, my head felt very heavy, eventhough I slept much more than usually. And I felt generally tired. As my employer believed me that I was unable to work (he visited me in hospital), he did not need to see my doctor’s leave and as I feel much better than yesterday, I’ve decided to forget that I can stay at home till end of the week.

What I’ve realised recently, staying at home on doctor’s leave makes me feel much more unwell, than I actually am. Maybe it is just a think, that I sleep a lot, but simply, I don’t like it. I feel like I am not able to do anything. Like nothing has sense. What I have learnt, returning to work makes me feel better (any way, my boss doesn’t let me do too hard work straight after returning back; this actually cause my mixed feelings).

There is one saying in polish (and I am not sure, if it exists only in polish language; you can let me know in comment section, if in your country you have it too), which goes: “Forbidden fruit tastes the best”. That means that if you shouldn’t be doing something, you will do it. Just because it is forbidden. I can’t explain, why it happens this way, but when I think about it closely, it really does happen to me quite often.

Since I was a child, I remember that things, my parents asked me not to do, always seemed more attractive. I think,6 it was some kind of adrenaline. You know, this voice in my head: “What if I will get caught?”. Or maybe it was just a need of independence? Whatever it was, it was worthed breaking rules. This feeling, that: “Hey! I did it and I am still ok!”.

However, things being forbidden very often are some kind of a hazard for our health or safety. Propably this is a reason, why we are not supposed to do them. Similar is with my work.

I have to admit that I like my job in general. But there are some aspects of it making me not want to go there. Every here and then I just pray for few days off. A little time to rest. However, any time I am on a doctor leave, I can’t wait to go to work. There is some force out there pushing me and staying at home makes me feel worse. And this time I’ve started wondering, why this is happening. Does it mean that I am a workaholic? Or maybe it is kind of my forbidden fruit?

I came to a conclusion, that it must be the second one. This kind of thing, when I don’t really want to do something and I need a break, but because it is a forced break, I am getting frustrated about it. Does it sound weird? For me it does, eventhough I am guilty of it. And as I am thinking about it more, I am realising that this is not a first time when I am doing it.

Ok, but why am I actually thinking about it? It is just happening, isn’t it? Well, I believe that if we want to take real control over our life, we need to understand what causes our behaviours. As long as we are not aware of them, we can’t really prevent them. And on the other side, if there is some behaviour, we want to incorporate in our life more, we should determine what needs to happen to make us behave this particular way.

And I believe that self-awareness is a neccessary tool in self-development. How can you change something, if you don’t know what is going on? It is like if you would go to doctor with a headache and he would give you random medicines without figuring out what is the problem. This would be weird, wouldn’t it?

That’s the reason why I think, that first thing to sort any problem, is to figure out what causes it. If you can prevent it, you can stop this problem to occur again. Or, if it is about behaviours, better understanding of yourself will improve the control you have over your emotions and will help you to make more reasonable decisions in the future and give you chance to think them through before, instead of acting afected by emotions.

And with this thought, I am going to end this post. Have a productive day and I’ll see you in my next post.

Daria

“If you can walk on the water, take the boat” by John Harricharan

“If you can walk on the water, take the boat” written by John Harricharan is a story about John, who is having some issues with his company recently. Out of a sudden there is very strange and intriguing man showing in his life – Gideon. As it turns out later, Gideon is working for God.

To be honest, as I’ve started reading this book, I was thinking, that it must be some kind of joke. It seemed to me, as I am having story for children in front of my eyes. But as I went deeper into it, I’ve realised, that no matter what kind of  book it is, I (and I hope you as well) can learn a lot from it.

I have been thinking for quite a long time, which way shall I expose to you, what have I red. It would be easy, but I don’t want to tell you, how this story finishes. Just in case if some of you wants to read it. What I’ve decided, I am going to present some quotes and short comments to each of them (note, there are much more valuable quotes in this book. What are you going to read here, is only peak of the iceberg of them).

Take some time to enjoy life. Everyone has same measure of time (…). It’s what you do with your time that’s important.

Gideon

Why I had picked this quote? Because this is something I used to think a lot about. I was wondering, how it can be possible, that some people can do double or even tripple amount of work than the others having same amount of time.

As I mentioned before in one of my posts, I am procrastinating kind of person. And well, I think my wondering proccess was one of the excuses, to make me not to do my work.

Well, this is the problem with our nature. We can do anything, just not to do what we need to do. And it is very important to be aware of this.

(…) you’ve been ‘going through’ experiences instead of ‘growing through’ them.

June, John’s friend

This is another thing, which seems very important to me. As a human-beings, we are making mistakes. We are going through many failures. But what we don’t do (at least some of us – including me sometimes) is we don’t learn our lesson. We are trying to errase everything what, according to us, was bad, without even trying to come to any conclusion.

The result of such behaviour is, that very likely we are going to make exactly same mistakes, as we are not trying to find out, what was the reason of our failure.

You care, so you try to make everything work right. When nothing seems to work right, you worry and become fearful and because of the fear, you short-circuit yourself.

Gideon

This is another quote, that catched my eye. Maybe, because very often I am guilty of it. When something goes wrong, we start to worry, instead of looking for solutions. We are scared of consequences of our action, so we just sit and worry. According to me, this is something worth, to be aware of.

To exist without chalenges would be boredom as its ultimate

Gideon

I have picked this as well, because I know a lot lf people, who don’t even try to do anything, but comain all the time, that they are bored (I think I was like this as well at some point). They have some dreams, but instead of trying to achieve them, thay are getting bored.

This is making me a bit sad, as so many people trying all the best to get a stuff done are complaining for lack of time, while others are wasting their time for getting bored.

People must learn that they are all shipmates on the common voyage of life and that they cannot sink their shipmates without sinking themselves.

Confucius (met on one of time-travels)

This is last quote I want to share with you in this post, but not least important. According to me, this is lesson, everyone should learn, no matter what he/she is doing. You cannot try to make other’s life hard. Maybe not right away, maybeater, but anything you do to someone, is going to come back to you. So it is worthed to make sure, we are helping others, instead of trying to pull their legs.

All of presented quotes are coming from book “If you can walk on the water, take the boat” written by John Harricharan and as I mention above, there is much more of them.