We can all use a little help getting motivated sometimes, especially during this time of the year.
When winter seems to be dragging on (and on), it can feel a little more difficult to stay productive with work, side projects, or even just the chores around the house.
Then consider the pandemic that’s made the past year incredibly burdensome for so many people, and it’s no mystery why many may not be feeling quite like themselves.
For someone struggling with persistent symptoms of a serious mental health condition like depression or anxiety, it may be necessary to consult with a specialist.
For others, though, getting motivated, getting organized and really “getting to it” might be the boost your mental health needs right now.
Let’s take a look at five strategies for being more productive so you can push through what’s left of the winter and get a leg up on all that’s ahead this year.
1. Use the two-minute rule
It’s a little ironic, really.
The dreary winter months can drain our energy and leave us feeling unmotivated. At the same time, though, many of us may actually have long to-do lists.
And that’s where things can really start to snowball (no pun intended).
Looking at your miles-long to-do list can trigger anxiety and leave you wondering, “Where do I even begin?” From there, procrastination ensues.
The solution? Make use of the two-minute rule.
Entrepreneur Steve Olenski says that by immediately getting to work on tasks that can be completed in under two minutes, you’ll ultimately save time.
With the smaller jobs out of the way and some good forward momentum, you can then proceed with your more important tasks.
Ready? Set? Go! The clock’s ticking.
2. Spruce up your surroundings
Sometimes, the right environment is all it takes to help get us motivated and be more productive.
Struggling to get your work done? Under a blanket on the couch probably isn’t the best place for you to be working.
Make sure you have a dedicated space that’s separate from where you typically kick back and unwind.
A home office is great, but even a dedicated desk where you can sit is a great start.
And when it comes to your surroundings, the right scenery can make all the difference. Cultivating the right atmosphere with personal touches like photos, plants and other decorations can boost productivity by as much as 15%.
So spruce up your space. Maybe it’s even the right time to get a head start on your spring cleaning for the year. But only when the time is right.
Which leads to our next tip.
3. Don’t multitask
When you’ve got a lot on your plate, tackling multiple tasks at the same time may seem like the logical choice.
In fact, it might seem like it’s the only way you can get through all you need to do.
Do yourself a favor, though, and slow down.
According to researchers, multitasking can hamper productivity by up to 40%.
That’s because constantly jumping from one task to the next makes it more difficult to block out distractions and really get in “the zone.”
Before you know it, you’ll look at the clock and realize how much time has passed—and how little you’ve gotten done.
One effective tip for eliminating the temptation to multitask is unplugging (as much as possible). By eliminating distractions like email, social media and messaging, you can more easily stay focused on what’s most important.
4. Use the batch process
It might sound similar to multitasking, but the batch process is actually the opposite. It’s a highly-effective strategy for ramping up your productivity.
Think about it.
If you’re already putting away the dishes in the kitchen, it makes sense that you should also take out the garbage, wipe up the counters and jot down your shopping list, right?
The same goes for whatever else it is you might be working on.
By grouping similar tasks into dedicated blocks of time, you can get the most out of your efforts throughout the day.
For example, writing a blog post, planning your finances and responding to client emails/phone calls are three very different tasks.
Try separating these different categories of work into their down dedicated time slots to maximize productivity.
5. Remember, nobody’s perfect
We all want to do our best.
Being proud of what you bring to the table is a good thing. It’s… something to be proud of, really.
Sometimes, though, perfectionism might be holding you back. Like the old saying goes, “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.”
You can’t complete your goals if you’re too focused on perfection to even get started, can you?
You can always circle back to a project a little down the road, too. Sometimes, taking a step back can even help provide clarity.
So get moving, make some mistakes along the way, and remember: nobody’s perfect.
We can all feel like we’re “in a funk” sometimes. If you’re struggling with ongoing symptoms of a serious mental health condition, though, it might be time to consult a professional. Meridian Psychiatric Partners is here for you. Contact us to speak with an intake coordinator today.