8 tips on how to stay motivated and be productive
In a digital world so full of distractions, it can be easy to get side-tracked and lose focus of your long-term goals. From time to time, we’re all guilty of becoming so focused on the here-and-now that we sometimes forget about the bigger picture… or lose our mojo a little. But don’t worry, boss-babes—we’ve put together a list of our killer strategies and tried and tested techniques to ensure you stay on top of your game!
1. Find the time in the day when you are most productive.
The trick is to discover how and when you work best and stick to that; some people are night-owls but others, like myself, prefer to wake up early and immediately start crossing things off that to-do list. For me, there’s no better feeling than tackling a full day’s work and finishing up much earlier than expected–cue the wine, please?!
But this is something you need to figure out for yourself. You could start with giving an honest appraisal of your ideal work schedule: what times of day are you best motivated? How can you get the most out of your work?
2. Reward yourself but only when you know you deserve it.
It can be so tempting to just quickly reply to that email that came in or respond to that notification on your phone but this is all about getting in the zone, ladies. Try and only give yourself breaks or rewards after you’ve been working for a certain period of time and this is likely to boost your productivity and attention span. Sometimes it’s just a case of muting your phone and getting your head down for a solid twenty minutes or so until you’ve completed a task.
A tried and tested way of boosting productivity is the Pomodoro Technique. This is a method of working in timed cycles, for example twenty minutes, with short breaks in between. The idea is that the longer the period of time you work, the longer the break. This is supposed to be ideally suited to our attention span and the rewarding break after each cycle will leave you re-energised, refocused and motivated to get back to work again.
3. Make an inspiration board.
Every once in a while, we all start to lose our drive from time to time. Collating a collection of images which inspire you and resonate with you is a great way to stay motivated. Have it somewhere handy where you can look at it whenever you feel like you need a pick me up or a boost. Remember to include photos of what you’re working towards, whether it be a new car you’re saving up for or even just a new pair of shoes—anything that will motivate you to work to the best of your abilities.
4. Remember to take some time off!
For a while, I was under the illusion that the harder you work, the more you will get done and, ultimately, the more successful you will be—but this isn’t always the case. Working night and day around the clock will leave you physically and mentally drained, rundown and stressed. We all want to forge our empires as quickly as possible, but just remember that Beyoncé wasn’t built in a day!
Some me-time is so important; time to wind down mentally and physically after a long day will leave you relaxed, refreshed and ready to take on tomorrow’s challenges.
P.S. you work hard, so you deserve not to settle for a quick desk lunch every day. Some time away from your desk and your work environment on your lunch break is so important to refresh your mind, enjoy your break, and most importantly, to come back at 1PM with a fresh approach to your afternoon’s tasks.
5. Surround yourself with inspiring people.
I’m lucky enough to share an office with two very inspiring, hardworking people. I truly think this makes me more positive in the way I approach my work and my attitude to work in general.
Surround yourself with people that are rooting for you, whether that be your family, friends, colleagues or a significant other and remember to block out the people that bring you down. The least successful people in business and life in general are those that believe they can only forge their successes at someone else’s expense—this is, of course, nonsense and you don’t need that kind of negativity in your life!
6. Make your workspace somewhere you want to be.
You’re going to be spending countless hours at your desk each day, so at least make it look cute! Sitting at a boring, plain desk with a blank wall in front of you is not inspiring. Create a motivating space: fill the wall with post it notes, invest in some nice stationery or even just a few personal knickknacks, fairy-lights or candles on your desk can do wonders to really help create a positive, inspiring atmosphere. And if your desk or office is somewhere you enjoy being, then your clients and/or colleagues are bound to love it too!
7. Don’t juggle too many tasks at once.
Multitasking is the height of wishful thinking: at the best of times, I wish I could split my brain in half; get on with emails with one side of my brain while the other half gets to work on admin or creating new content for clients. Unfortunately, this is completely impossible, so don’t try and do it!
Studies show that rapidly switching between tasks and even switching between tabs on your laptop diminishes your attention span and actually makes you less productive. Interrupting an activity to check your emails or to respond to your phone buzzing is also a no-no—it could take you twenty minutes to get back into that zone of concentration. Once you’re there, keep focused until the end of the task and then cue the Instagram stories!
8. Stay true to yourself.
It’s not always going to be a breeze, but if you find yourself miserable day in day out, then it’s time to do something about it. Maybe it’s time for a change—maybe it’s time to apply for that job you’ve always wanted but didn’t think you had enough experience for, or even just making a minor change could leave you feeling more fulfilled.
The most important thing to remember is to find what makes you happy, whatever that may be, and keep hold of it.