How To Keep Kicking Goals Mid-Year
It's that time of the year where I begin to struggle with the shorter days and lack of warmth, and I wonder if I should go after the job role that I’ve always wanted of ‘Chief Mattress Tester’ given how much longer I'm wanting to spend in bed. The cooler months often see a dip in our productivity levels and general ability to stay motivated, so I thought I'd collate my tips and tricks into one big dollop of procrastination-kicking goodness. Let's tackle the rest of the year head on together shall we!?
Seeing is believing. Those goals that you wrote down on a bit of paper New Year's Day and filed away saying you'd get to them later? Time to bring 'em out and stick them somewhere you can see them and refer to on a daily basis. Or if like me you've "misplaced" them... write some new ones! Being able to visualise your goals everyday will challenge you to make small steps towards smashing out those tough goals you've put off for half the year. You'll be constantly reminded of your aims so they’re not out of sight and out of mind.
Change up your work space. I know of myself that if I try to study, write or work in the exact same spot and environment for hours at a time over several weeks, my productivity drops dramatically. Because let’s face it; you get bored of the space. Having a work area that gets you excited and in the mood to actually do some work is pretty integral to getting stuff done. And the way you go about this will be different for everyone; it could be adding some greenery to your desk, separating your paperwork from your computer zone, going to a café, or moving to a different room. Whatever the space you’ve got to work with, make it a distraction-free, comfy spot that will help you have a positive and conducive environment.
Ditch the pesky distractions. What a hard one. For me it’s my phone, which seems to somehow open up instagram and Buzzfeed without me ever really knowing how it happened. If you need to move away from a particularly chatty co-worker, ask. If your emails keep pinging every 5 minutes, mute them. Whatever your procrastination sweet spot, try to make it something you reward yourself with as a break, instead of checking constantly. I find I can get on a really good roll if I pop a podcast on and work solidly for it's duration - check out my guide to picking one here.
The 'One Touch' Method. You may have heard of this one before, but it’s been a revolutionary one for me that I really try to stick to. Essentially, you don’t start a task without having the intention and the time to finish it there and then. Now this of course doesn’t work for bigger, long-term projects that would mean you were sat in a chair for four days straight to finish it, but it does lend itself to snappier tasks like going through your inbox or household chores. Unless I’ve got 10 or 15 minutes to action and reply to everything that’s in my inbox, I don’t even open it. Same for chores; unless you can pick up that vacuum and not put it down until the whole apartment is clean, leave it till later when you’ve got a chance to do it properly.
Be kind to yourself. Rather than beating yourself up about all the stuff you haven't done, flip that negativity on it's head and give yourself a pat on the back for where you're at now in your life and all the things you HAVE achieved this year. Focus on making the goals you set yourself even more specific if you can so they seem less daunting. Instead of 'exercise more' which is general and not all that encouraging, why not try 'aim for one half hour power walk every week until Christmas'. This gives you a specific goal to work towards, can be social (invite a friend!) and is way less overwhelming. And give yourself a reward for achieving milestones towards a goal! Like brunch...
Get yourself some new stationary. This is my blatant and completely obvious segue into drawing your attention to these absolutely BEAUT pieces from Biome. But seriously, who doesn’t love some new stationary!? Writing in a fresh notebook is a hard feeling to beat, and I know that I’m much more likely to get creative and write lists and generally get s**t done if I’ve got something pretty to carry round with me and tick it all off in. These notebooks are awesome because they're made in Australia from completely post-consumer waste paper and they showcase local illustrators (I've got the Sophie Gilmore one). The pen is also made in Australia from sustainable bamboo wood and is refillable, so less going to waste!! And as I mentioned about visualising your goals, having them on hand at your desk in a pretty notebook means you’re much more likely to refer to them. Got some goals already you'd like to share? Pop them below and let's encourage each other! x