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Staying Productive (Even When You Really Don’t Want To)

by | Motivation

Struggling to stay productive lately? It’s not just you! We’ve officially reached that time of year when nobody wants to do anything but be outside and soak up these last days of summer sunshine. Don’t get me wrong, I, too, am one of those people who loves to hit the beach or lay by the pool whenever I can. However, I also understand the value of staying productive … even when I reallllly don’t want to. And let me be the first to tell you that continuing to work hard, especially on those days when you’d rather be doing anything else, is the key to success. Here’s my advice on gathering up your motivation and pushing through to achieve your goals! 

The words “To Do List” are printed at the top of a white piece of paper that lays on a pink table.

Break down your big tasks.

You know those big items on your to-do list that you’ve pushed to “tomorrow” every day for the past two weeks (yeah, we’ve all got them)? Those items don’t have to be as big and scary as you’re making them out to be. Try to break them down into smaller, more manageable steps to keep yourself motivated to get them done! Here’s an example: 

End Goal: Plan an event for 200 people. 

Steps to Achieve Goal: Secure an event space, send out invites, buy food, and find decorations. 

Ta-da! Just like that, you have actionable steps in place to help you reach your big goal (yay!). While this method won’t change the amount of work to be done, it will keep those bigger goals from getting too overwhelming. All that’s left for you to do is get to work! 

A woman with red nail polish writes on a hot pink sticky note that sits on a notebook with tabs that are assorted colors.

Write down your distractions.

Picture this: You’re sitting in a meeting, when suddenly your mind starts to wander. “I need to make that call later today.” “I wonder what my kids are up to.” “I need to start planning that event.” What do all of these thoughts have in common? They’re not allowing you to focus on what’s happening right now, at this very moment, during the meeting you’re in!  

The solution is to create a distraction list. All you have to do is grab a piece of scratch paper or open a document on your computer and dump all your distracting thoughts on to it as they come up. Then, refocus on what’s happening in the present. For a deeper dive into this method, read this post. 

A person wearing a yellow sweater and chunky bracelets types on a computer that’s sitting on a wooden table.

Stop multitasking.

Humans are multitaskers … even though research shows that most of us aren’t actually very good at it. And, unless you’re a part of that lucky 2.5% of people who have been proven to multitask effectively, it’s time to give it up.  

You may think you’re being super effective when you’re handling two or three tasks at a time, but let’s take a step back and think about this for a second. The only thing that multitasking is doing for you is … dividing your attention. Trust me, you’ll be a lot more productive when you put all your energy and concentration into completing just one task at a time. 

You’ve got goals you want to hit. And reaching those goals will require you to stay productive, not just on the days you feel like it, but every day. Every. Single. Day. Achieving your goals will always be worth it (even if it means cutting a few beach days short 😉). 

Speaking of goals, let’s dive into the details of goal setting! For all my tips on making your biggest goals happen, read this post.

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