We all know the feeling. You’ve had a long, exhausting day on the go and you come home. It’s edging towards five o’clock, you make yourself a cup of tea and your bum hits the sofa – that’s it, you ain’t moving.
Well, I’m here to tell you how to motivate yourself to get back up off that sofa and over to that oh so formidable desk chair in order to get stuff done.
First, you need to invest in a to-do list. There are so many of these on the market all tailored to suit the different needs of all individuals. If you’re really strapped for cash, this can be as little as a piece of paper or a lined writing pad to write down your daily or weekly goals.
Mine has three main areas for listing; tasks, errands and correspondence. I find organising my thoughts into these three areas really useful for prioritising what really needs doing.
I also find actually writing my thoughts down helps me get them done so much more than simply keeping them in my head. It turns them into a constant reminder and there is nothing more satisfying than seeing a list with everything crossed off.
Before I discovered this style of listing, I would simply write down everything I needed to get done on a post-it style piece of paper and cross them off as I went. So the first thing you do when you sit on your desk chair should be to take ten minutes for yourself and organise your thoughts on paper.
This will propel you into a night of productivity. Take it one thing at a time and really relish that feeling of crossing a task off your list as this will motivate you to do more. Also, give yourself little treats along the way to celebrate your small achievements. For me, this is usually a cup of tea or hot chocolate at every other task to keep me going.
Another issue I come across when I’ve got a lot of work to do in one night is that I spend a lot of hours sat in the same chair. When your neck and shoulders start to ache, its easy to just give in and lay in bed making your way through YouTube – your productivity has gone out the window.
To avoid this, make your chair comfy with pillows and perhaps a blanket over the legs to keep you cosy.
Sometimes if I’m really feeling it, I’ll take ten minutes to lay on my yoga mat on the floor and listen to some music or watch a YouTube video but restrain yourself! Keep this kind of thing as a little reward and have the self-control to climb back into that productive chair.
The next top tip is to make your productive space somewhere nice to be.
I choose to light a candle and my desk is in front of an uncluttered windowsill which can in itself be inspiring to keep going.
I would also make it a must to take a minute to just tidy up the desk space after a successful session so that tomorrow you’ll want to come back to it.
If your in-tray is overflowing and your desk is scattered with paper and pens, you will be less inclined to get down to the grind because you have to sort through that mess first.
Finally, when you’re working on an evening, you need to gear your mindset so that sleep is the ultimate reward. This will help you be productive for longer and may even help you fall asleep easier as your brain will have been more active during the day.
By doing this you’ll really relish climbing under the covers and by keeping your bed as a work free zone it’ll help your mind and body fully relax and recharge for another full day tomorrow.