I’ve been having a bit of a struggle with motivation. And while I can’t say the struggle is completely over (and I fear it never will be), I have been making some headway.
I started looking at the things I do every day and, more particularly, every morning to see whether there was something I could change.
I wanted to figure out why some days so productive while others are just blah, and whether there was anything I could do about it.
This is what I discovered:
1. Do what you planned to do
This is something I had overlooked but is actually HUGE for me. With a little experimentation, I have found one of the best ways to set myself up for a good, productive day is simply just to do what I had planned.
It sounds so easy, but I’m sure you know just how hard this can be. Doing what our enthusiastic, optimistic, motivated-self thought up the night before isn’t always what we feel like doing when we’re tired, comfortable and cosy in bed the next morning.
But I’m making myself do it because it’s making me so much more productive.
I’m noticing that if I planned to wake up early and go to yoga the next morning, I have a good day if I do. If I had planned to sleep in and have a relaxing morning, I have a good day if I do.
I just have to do what I had planned and I already feel like I’m being productive.
2. Listen to your favourite music
Yes, it’s an obvious one. But do you do it?
I love music and I think everything is more fun when there’s music playing (not sure why exactly, it just feels cooler) but for whatever reason I didn’t used to listen to music when I was getting ready in the morning.
When I was in Vietnam a couple of weeks ago I bought a little Bluetooth speaker and it has been my saviour. Listening to music is a super simple way to set yourself up for a productive day and it’s so easy to do. I use Pandora (or you could use Spotify) so I don’t have to worry about a playlist either, I just pick a song and it goes from there.
3. Have a breakfast that fills you up and that you love
I was already doing this (I’m obsessed with having porridge topped with berries) but sometimes it’s not convenient, especially when I’m having breakfast out of the house.
But now I’m making the effort to have this every single morning. You might be a bit more interesting than me and not want to same thing for breakfast every morning and that’s cool too. The trick is just to have something filling and that you love.
Lately I’ve been obsessed with having a huge glass of lemon water at breakfast too. I love making it look pretty by cutting up the lemon, and maybe a strawberry or two if I have some. It’s so easy to do and takes all of 2 minutes but just really puts me in a good, productive mood. Find the little things that do this for you.
4. Take your time
This may be hard for anyone who labels themselves as ‘not a morning person’ but it has been life changing for me. I used to always spend my mornings running around like a headless chicken trying to get everything ready but I have found that simple waking up 15 or 20 minutes earlier makes my morning routine so much more fun. I can actually enjoy getting ready, I get a really productive vibe going and I won’t be late.
The trick is not to let yourself be fooled into thinking you have heaps more time and then having to rush around at the end. Just do what you’d normally do and enjoy the time you have left over.
5. No procrastination
Taking my time does not include procrastination because, for me at least, procrastination puts me in a super unproductive mood. Until recently I had a really bad habit that was shooting me in the foot, and I didn’t even enjoy that much.
When I woke up, the first thing I would do is grab my phone and start scrolling through newsfeeds – Twitter, Instagram, Facebook.
Since I live in Australia there is always quite a bit that I miss while I’m asleep and I wanted to know what had been happening. But this would just put me in the most unproductive mood and it could easily gobble up an hour of my morning. Plus it made me want to keep checking back again and again and would throw off my entire day.
Now I’ve been turning off my internet when I sleep and not turning it back on until I’m ready for the day. If I have time I’ll check to see what I’ve missed but usually, because I’m in quite a productive mood if I don’t do it first thing, I don’t really have a problem waiting until later.
Maybe you can relate to some of these things, maybe you can’t. We’re all different. But simply having a look at what you do every morning and tweaking a few things here and there can make a huge difference to your day!
What sets you up for a productive day?
Don’t forget that comments are always welcome and appreciated – I’d LOVE to hear what you have to say!