Those who knew me well knows that I have a number of projects going at the same time, and I constantly get asked about how I manage to sustain all of that when coupled with full-time work and social life. I thought this topic is a nice follow up to our last happiness project snippet, and I thought maybe elaborating on it would be a good idea? I hope so.
Being productive is not easy, trust me, but there are ways to train yourself so that your productivity does not always rely on your motivation. Like everyone, for me motivation is an everyday struggle, there are many times I feel lazy and unproductive, and there are also times where I work late into the night, not realizing that I’m working through my supposedly sleeping time because I am that motivated.
Motivation is an elusive thing, and in the end of the day you should not wait for it to come by, but actively seek it out. Sometimes I think we use motivation as a procrastination tool when inside we are just lazy. We should stop blaming our laziness on motivation without trying to discipline ourselves. Though I think it is also important to know when you should be lenient on yourself to avoid burnouts.
The single most effective piece of advice I can give you is to just start. Even if you are not currently motivated that day, force yourself to sit still for at least 10 minutes to try to do what it is that you need to do and get your muscles used to it (Yes, your brain has muscles too). Once you get to the groove, you get so much thrill from being productive and everything just gains momentum from there onwards. Don’t forget to capitalize on this momentum, and do more productive things if you still have energy.
If this does not work, and you still don’t feel productive by the time your 10 minutes is up, then take a 5 minute break and try again. If this still does not work, then maybe it’s not the right day to be productive. Accept defeat for now, we are all humans after all, but come back next time with guns blazing.
If you need to take breaks, try to do breaks that do not include procrastination-prone activities such as bingeing on youtube/series/tv shows or lazing around in bed/couch because they might rob off your motivation and momentum.
Good luck, let me know how you go