So here we are, at the beginning of May and I feel so relieved to have made it through the 4 months of this year. For some reason those months felt like the longest and dreading months of them all, my motivation was left behind in 2018 and I just couldn’t find any routine that would work.
I spent my evenings usually falling asleep on the couch and my days feeling tired, unmotivated and uninspired. After 4 months, which honestly felt like 30, I decided this had to change. I needed to switch up my routine and find new habits that I can stick to.
In the middle of this process I figured; I can not be the only one who feels this way right? Instead of drowning in my own sorrows I came here and decided to share my experiences with you and how I’m slowly coming out of this winter rut
1. Set daily
Sometimes all of your tasks and goals can become quite overwhelming, I feel you. If I’m having a bad day, even looking at my agenda can make me feel anxious. When trying to work on a better routine, I wanted to target this at first. So I started creating a habit of daily goals. I would write down anywhere between 3-10 tasks that I wanted to check off that day and go on with my day. It depends on where I’m working, from home or the office, but I usually try and start my day at around 9 am. Writing down these tasks meant I always had a reminder of what I wanted to achieve that day and I would adjust them to my mood. For instance if I am having a really rough day, I will limit it to around 4-5 tasks. If I have a busy and productive day ahead, I will easily check off 10 tasks.
By doing this I noticed that my mind became more calm and I didn’t feel the constant pressure of finishing all my tasks within 1 day, instead I prioritise all my tasks and go at them day by day.
2. Create a habit
I know people say this all the time, but creating habits is probably one of the most important aspects of an organised life. The thing with habits is, it takes time to create one. No one ever wakes up and suddenly has this perfect routine all lined up. Nope, it takes effort and determination.
One of the bad habits I used to have is that I would tell myself that I would not work after dinner time. Naturally, I am a morning person so my most productive hours usually take place between 9 am and 2 pm. Around 3-ish pm my mind will slowly lose focus and usually by 6 I am done for the day. However, this resulted in me being really tired and unproductive in the evenings and falling asleep on the couch at 9pm. And although there is nothing wrong with taking it slow in the evenings, I’ve been trying to fit in my work-outs in the evening to increase my energy levels. Instead of watching a Netflix show, I would attend a spinning class or go to the yoga studio. This resulted in me coming back with A LOT of energy and good vibes.
Nowadays, I usually have 1-2 days a week where I just chill and hang on the couch watching a Netflix tv show. During those other nights I either get to check off some tasks on my to-do list or be active. And guess what, I now feel way more energised and less stressed out because I know that my day doesn’t suddenly stop at 6pm.
3. Wake up early
This is such a classic tip but it truly works. I am lucky enough that I naturally wake up around 7 am each day, but that doesn’t always mean I want to get up instantly. Some days I just want to sleep for days and can not be bothered by facing the outside world. Luckily, having a cat really helps with this because he is used to being fed around 7 am so I have a reason to get up, but damn it’s tempting to crawl back into bed after that.
BUT, believe me when I say; waking up early can be such a game changer. The world is still quiet outside and there is so much time to get things done. I try not to open my laptop before 9 am, but I love doing householding in these early hours. This is a general idea of how my mornings look like when I work either from home or the office:
- 7 AM: Get up, go downstairs and feed Babou
- 7.10 AM: Go back upstairs, depending if my boyfriend is awake or not, I make the bed and quickly tidy the bedroom. I jump in the shower and wash my face + get dressed.
- 7.30 AM: Time for breakfast! I usually go for oatmeal, overnight oats or a smoothie bowl made out of banana, frozen mango, avocado and cacao. I love starting my mornings with fruit. I always make myself a cup of tea as well. This is also the moment where I scroll on my phone, see what I’ve missed out on, reply to some comments, etc.
- 8 AM: Go upstairs again, brush my teeth and put on some make-up. Sometimes I go all out; sometimes I keep it minimal.
- 8.30 AM: If I’m going to the office, I will back my bags, grab some lunch, play with Babou and leave for work. If I’m working from home I will either grab my laptop and sit at the dinner table or grab my stuff and work at a coffee shop (and eat cake ahem). This is pretty much where I start off my day with checking my emails, creating a to-do list for the day and start working!
So that’s it, these are my 3 tips for getting back into a routine again! There are probably way more tips out there that can help you, but personally these were the 3 things that definitely helped me creating a steady routine again.
What do you do when you’re having trouble with your productivity?