How to Be Productive...

...even when it sucks. Today, and life in general, has been such a whirlwind! Between looking for new jobs, new apartments, planning how we're going to get across the country, and keeping up with normal day to day tasks all I've really wanted to do is watch Netflix on the couch!

Today I woke up at 7, worked until 2, went to get a replacement social security card, had a call with our leasing agent to talk about new apartments, looked at new apartments, finished up some work I had to do since I left early, went to yoga class, showered, made some delish turkey burgers and sweet potato fries (found here and here, respectively), did 3 loads of laundry, dishes, am now writing this, and will be applying for jobs in Denver afterwards. Whew!

All that being said, I thrive off of productivity. There are few things I enjoy more than crossing things off a to-do list, especially if that also involves having a clean apartment! However, even as a type A personality there are plenty of times when I almost can't bring myself to do anything of value.

Thankfully, I've developed a few tips and tricks that I've learned to use to help myself get up and get moving again, especially when I just do not want to!

  1. Treat yo' self: honestly, I am the worst about treating myself for doing basic human functions. Since I've been in extreme budgeting mode in preparation for the move I've gotten a lot better about doing it with more expensive purposes, but I still think that the small things are really what matter! I live and work in a part of town that doesn't have a Starbucks (crazy, I know!) so today after I had to run to the social security office, I ran by to get an iced latte as well. I hate leaving the greater downtown Chattanooga area for errands, so this one simple thing made it so much better!
  2. Multitask: I've been a multitasker for as long as I can remember! I've found that focusing on things for short bursts and then switching to something radically different helps me be more productive overall. I was homeschooled from K-12 and I would always do a few math problems, read a few paragraphs for history, and alternate between them until they were both done. This definitely wouldn't work for everyone, but I know for me it helps keep things interesting.
  3. Prioritize: this is probably the biggest thing for me! I know that if I keep myself in drive mode and don't make times for things I enjoy, I get burnt out at an alarming rate. I try to prioritize things like reading or playing with Bird just to keep myself from going crazy! When I don't have time for that (like today!) I'll try to at least double up on things where possible. Today, as I had to finish up some work stuff I turned Netflix so I could make some progress on the series I'm watching. This definitely makes whatever you're trying to work on go by more slowly, but if it makes it seem like less of a chore I think it's worth it! Normally I'm not super into watching tv, but I've been obsessed with 13 Reasons Why and am finishing it as quickly as I can. I read the book in high school and they've done the most amazing job making it into a series.
  4. Reading: this probably isn't as big of a deal for some people as it is for me, but if I don't actively try to read I tend to get stir crazy. No matter how tired I am, I try to make myself read at least a handful of pages at the end of the day for the sake of progress. I find that if I make it a habit (and always carry a book with me, just in case!) I'll end up reading more than I ever realized I actually have time for!
Mainly I think the common denominator between all of these tips is finding balance. Balance is a big thing for me as I'm very sensitive to things being out of whack. It's still a learning process as far as what works and what doesn't (and it changes often!), but these tips are good general guidelines to help me stay on track.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we find an apartment and I find a job sooner rather than later. Those have definitely been the two largest stressors, and I'm absolutely ready to get them crossed off my to do list!
lifestyleAmanda McDowell