Over the past few weeks, some of my days have been good and I have been able to radiate and feel happy emotions, whereas some days have just been mundane, lackluster.
The mundane and lackluster days have mostly got to do with my work. Before you judge me for sounding tone deaf – I acknowledge my privilege and I truly am grateful for the position that I’m currently in, because it’s one of the most peaceful roles I’ve had in my life. I have a great boss and I am able to maintain a healthy work-life balance and I feel truly blessed.
However, some days are hard especially when you’re juggling multiple things at once and your to do list is never ending, and on top of that there’s this sense of panicky overwhelm which doesn’t even let you focus, or direct your sense of awareness to the task at hand, which leads you to procrastinate – which in turn leads to more panic, anxiety and poor results at the end of the day.
I noticed my productivity ride a downhill slope and it was directly affecting my mood, and I knew I had to do something about it. So, I did some reading and there a ton of tips out there to manage your procrastination, but below are a few that have worked for me. Mind you, I’m not suddenly a hundred percent productive now. I’m only human and some days are shitty (Pardon my French). Not all days are the same, but when you take deliberate action towards something it truly helps (in my case the deliberate effort was towards beating procrastination and increasing my productivity).
- Turn off Notifications / Sounds / Activate Do not disturb mode – This of course is basic, but one of the most effective ways of achieving focus. We all know how tempting it is to look at our phones in the middle of work, and how easy it is to get distracted with notifications. As soon as the phone goes “ting” – the immediate instinct is to check what it is, and then within no time you’d find yourself doom scrolling on Instagram or Tiktok and become completely oblivious to the passage of without even realizing it. So make use of the DND modes on your phone – and give yourselves uninterrupted focus time.
- Visual timer (noise free) / Hour glass – A timed hour glass is a great way to direct your focus to any task at hand. Not only is it visually stimulating (in the sense that it gives you a visual motivation to try and achieve something before the time runs out), but it is also noise free. So, unlike a regular timer, it won’t interrupt you with a buzzer noise when the time is up – which is great, because you don’t lose your focus. You could continue in your flow for a long time without being interrupted by the chimes of an alarm or a buzzer.
- Productivity sheet – I devised this basic sheet/ tracker to give myself a productivity score on my daily activities at work. The first step is to identify the certain tasks that you need to do on a daily basis – for example – 1) Glance through to the to-do list 2) Go through emails 3) Have a call with the team etc. based on the nature of your job. The next step is to score yourself in each of these categories everyday, derive the productivity percentage from the total score, and thereby track and monitor your progress. This way you are aware of how much time you’re spending on a particular task everyday, what is consuming most of your time etc. It gives you a bird’s eye view of your performance.
Here’s the link to this google sheet you can access freely – click here
- Productivity Affirmations – Affirmations are a great way to pump your energy up, and enhance your state of mind. They may not work for everyone, and even if they do, they may not work every time. Affirmations will only assist you if you are already determined to do something. You can’t expect someone going through misery or grief to listen to an affirmation saying “I am happy”, it’s certainly not going to work. Affirmations will only work when you’re already in that state of mind of wanting to achieve a desired result. This YouTube video with “Productivity Affirmations” has helped me immensely. I listen to them in the morning on my way to work. They are great way to amplify my morning energy and fuel my enthusiasm before I start my work day.
- Let go of guilt, shame and blame – And finally, it’s easy to fall into the trap of self-blaming, shaming and tagging ourselves as lazy procrastinators, whereas most of the times there is an underlying cause for why someone is a procrastinator. It could be a case of chronic burnout, disengagement from reality, and in some cases even depression. Let’s rid the habit of blaming ourselves and beating ourselves up for not giving a 100% all the time. We are only human. Some days are just bad and it’s alright. Don’t beat yourself about it. Tomorrow’s a brand-new day to try again.
Alright, that was it for this time. Hope you liked this post! Stay tuned for more!
Amazing article Rowena, keep writing !!
Thank you so much for your feedback, Pamela 🙂
Distractions are my key problem, and I need to find ways to cut down on them. I feel that if I don’t pick up my phone every ten minutes, that I’ll have the stillness to pursue my life goals. Anyway, thanks for this post!
I agree. It’s almost ingrained in my subconscious now to pick my phone every few minutes. And breaking that habit is where I must concentrate on. We’ll take it one day at a time. Appreciate your comment. Thank you 🙂