Cold weather and I do not get along. And neither do I and these ridiculously short days… I need sunlight! And warm weather! And to be able to walk outside without putting on every piece of clothing I own. *sigh*
Ever since the November weather took a turn for the freezing (literally, I’ve already seen ice), my productivity has taken a turn for the nonexistent. Well, that just isn’t going to work for me. I need a plan to get my life together, no matter what excuses I may make for myself (and believe me, I am never at a loss for a good excuse)!
1. Write down everything that happens in your normal daily routine.
HOW: I don’t know anyone who feels like they “have enough time”… you know what I mean? Like, everyone feels overwhelmed by the amount of things to do in the amount of time they “have”. However, actually writing down your daily routines can really help you find out just why it is that you never have enough time. In this really amazing article by Personal Organizing Expert, Elizabeth Larkin, she discusses how she discovered imbalances in her own time management and the steps she took to fix them!
2. Highlight the unnecessary/useless activities.
(here’s an awesome post on 15 sneaky time-wasters we all deal with!)
3. Create a list of things you would have liked to get done or would like to add.
HOW: So, once you are aware of where your time is being wasted, go ahead and make a little list of PRODUCTIVE things that you would like to use that newly found time for! You could probably get 3 days’ worth of to-do’s done in 1 day, if you really tried! Think about your long-term to-do’s. Do you need to e-mail your advisor about something? Send a resume out somewhere? Sign up for yoga classes again? Or get your oil changed? …or call the dentist? Look at that list of tedious, totally procrastination-worthy tasks and get ready to kick its butt!
(you know I love tips on how to make a great to-do list and this post from LifeHacker is perrrrfect!)
4. Tomorrow, try to replace one useless activity with one useful one.
HOW: Beginning tomorrow, just replace one of those ineffective activities with something useful and productive! This way it’s not completely impossible feeling… it’s just one little thing! Most people perform cognitive tasks best between the hours of 9 and 11 AM. That’s the optimal time for “working”, so tell yourself this: Absolutely NO social media (or whatever your vice is) between those hours. Use them solely for producing the thing that you are supposed to produce! Not even a little tweet. That newsfeed will be there after you complete your to-do list! <– my daily mantra.
(Tiny Buddah has a great post on taking baby steps to achieve your goals, here!)
5. Keep sneaking the productive activities in (one a day) until they become habits!
HOW: As you move through the days, try to keep replacing that useless time with something productive! Not only will you accomplish more each day, but you’ll feel less rushed while doing it! It’s a total win-win! What if you just look at the weather and pick out an outfit the night before? Would that save some valuable time in the morning? Or even planning out meals so that you aren’t spending 30 minutes binge eating on everything in sight the moment you get home from work? (totally not an example from my real life at all…)