5 steps to Productivity
My Dad has always been my idol in terms of work ethic (among other fantastic qualities). From a young age it was clear to me how hard he worked to provide for our family and my sheer drive and ambition today has him to thank. But through my student life and at times even now, I can lack motivation, we all can. For me, moving into my own flat and having to pay rent and bills is a great motivator - essentially having responsibility! Self motivation tips are hard to provide when it's such a personal journey to productivity, but my top five are listed below. I promise, even if you take one on board, you will see a difference to your output given you have a clear vision of your end goal. Scroll below for an injection of motivation this Monday:
1. 7 Day Sleep Routine
Personally, I have to clock my 6-8 hours in order to feel remotely human. My partner, however, can work a day of hard labour from a mere 4 hours... madness. The point is, whichever works for you - stick to it. Keep that routine for the full week. If you don't maintain this at the weekends it will slow your momentum in the long run. That's not to say you should cut your social life short because it's your bedtime, I would just suggest evaluating the level to which you want to achieve your goals, how serious you'd like to be in terms of self motivation and setting the bar.
My alarm goes off at 5.30-5.45am everyday apart from Sunday, when I look to get out of bed no later than 7. Lying in until 9 or 10, although possible, leaves me feeling groggy and pushes my body clock off balance for the coming week. I also have a rule of no technology in the bedroom, so TV's and phones are banned. This has been the best decision in terms of winding down at the end of the day. Now my body knows when I go to bed it's for sleep, not scrolling through social media posts on a touch screen.
2. One Health Rule
Whether it be healthy eating, maintaining a three day gym attendance or just half an hour meditating a day. Setting a small achievable health goal will feed into your lifestyle of feel good productivity. Looking after yourself should come before anything else, looking after your business and/or workload will naturally follow. Once you have one goal accomplished, definitely incorporate another so you can work towards a fulfilled healthy lifestyle.
The Power of Now - Eckhart Tolle may look like a 'hippy-dippy' book but I recommend it for mindful development and living in the moment without getting hung up or stressed about the past or future. For me, meditation can be the stress relieving answer at the end of a busy day (or at the beginning to get in the zone) - but if something like this seems a little too 'deep' then burying yourself in any book can be equally as calming to escape modern day distractions.
3. Jump That Hurdle
One of the best snippets of advice my Dad has given me is to work on your #1 priority first thing in the morning, especially if it's your most dreaded job. Even if you tackle it for 15 minutes (you would be surprised how much you can accomplish in such a small space of time) - those 15 minutes will accumulate over the days, weeks and months to big progress.
4. Share with positive people
Tell a positive person your end goal. It's easy to highlight how you shouldn't surround yourself with negative comments or pessimistic people that can often disrupt the belief in your dreams. But, telling those who are positive and great social support may in fact help you reach your goals. I have had many incredible friends connect me to useful sources or mention me in conversation to others which led to an opportunity I otherwise would not have encountered. One of my closest friends also rock climbs, a little unrelated to my career I hear you say, but her enthusiasm for what she does is so infectious when I see her it encourages me to assess my workload and tackle it with a new lease of determination. Positive people breed positive attitudes which makes the world of difference when needing that little extra in terms of motivation.
5. List, List, List
Whether it be a phone note, or a written scribble on the back of a receipt, I would strongly encourage you to list your to-do's. I may be a little over the top for some, and not organised enough for others but I have a notebook and wall planner in the studio and my lists are categorised ranging from daily goals to blog content, freelance work to what I want to achieve in four weeks time.
Fun Fact: I've always been a compulsive list maker, when I was younger I used to write things like "eat dinner" which I know I would 100% do just to have the satisfaction of crossing them off, okay, that was a little extreme, but I still did it.
I would love to know what works for you, if there's anything I haven't covered that does wonders for your day to day approach or, if you take on any of the advice outlined above, let me know how things work out. I'd like to take a moment to thank all of those who voted for me as Sustainability Champion 2016, it really does mean the world to me that so many of you are supportive of Xandra Jane and this incredible journey we're taking. You can expect a blog post covering the award ceremony and my experience so far, and in the coming weeks I shall be inviting you to take a wardrobe inventory with me and have a look at the endless pieces of clothes I own and how to start shopping smarter and analyse what you really need to get the most out of your closet. Until next time continue to rebel against fast fashion and I'll continue to work towards reconnecting you to your clothes.