Blog post,  Communications professional,  Leadership

Tips for staying productive at the start of the year

If like me you are finding the start of the year a bit of a grind. If getting back into the rhythm of work is hard and seeing sunshine outside the office window feels like torture. You may find that getting and staying productive is hard.

I’m using the start of the year to get organised. Lots of admin, process writing, and organising my work life. I know that in a month’s time, I will be super grateful to past-Mel but it can be hard to stay motivated without clear deadlines or a little pressure.

Being productive while feeling unmotivated can be challenging, but there are a few strategies that I have tried in the past when I am feeling unproductive that might help you too.

  1. Break tasks into smaller, manageable chunks. So obvious right but just breaking it down can make one big job seem less overwhelming and make it easier to start. If it is a tedious task (hi admin!), you can then break the smaller tasks up over a few hours or days.
  2. Prioritise one of the most important things on your list and tackle them first thing in the morning. This can help you feel a sense of accomplishment and motivate you to keep going.
  3. Write up a plan for your day. When will you have lunch? When will you will stop for a break? How many hours you will spend writing a paper? Break your day down into hours and know when you will work on different pieces of work. I don’t know why it works for me, but it does.
  4. Use a timer and set small goals for yourself. This has been working for me this week. I am going to write for 20 minutes. Timer on. At the end of 20 minutes, I can stop for 5 minutes and then start again. It is how I tend to write my article posts.
  5. Set clear intentions for the day. Before I finish today, I will achieve x,y,z. If that means you finish at 3 pm and then read a few articles for the rest of the day so be it. Create a list that can hold you accountable.
  6. Reward yourself. Finished something. Woot! An achievement in itself. Go get a cup of tea. Finally sent that email you have been dreading. Done. Go for a little walk around the block. It’s ok to reward yourself to keep the motivation going.

Everyone is motivated differently, it’s about trying different things. Don’t feel guilty if you fail just be aware that it is something everyone goes through!

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