If you’re anything like me, you love to procrastinate. The couch and Netflix calls your name and you willingly answer, putting off those chores or other tasks that need to get done, but don’t need to get done right this instant. Then, by the end of the week, you’re hustling to get caught up and wonder how you got so far behind. Personally, my mind likes to rationalize that chilling on the couch and watching Netflix when I get a free moment counts as self-care. I mean, it’s slightly true, but it also isn’t really helping me beyond getting to sit down and rest my body for a while. Especially being a month away from my due date, sitting or napping are high on the priority list because this momma is tired!
Alas, I’ve been working on reminding myself of ways I can motivate me to get things done. I have stuff to do, man. I have a family to care for, a blog to maintain and I’m working on developing an app that will be life-changing for millions. Let’s be honest, Netflix, couches, and naps are not going to help me do any of those things. So, here are my top 3 ways I keep myself motivated to do the things.
1. Think Of Your Future Self
This one has been the biggest help for me. When I’m trying to catch up on all the things I’ve chosen Netflix over for the past week, I’m thinking about how much of a selfish butthead my past self was. Her decisions caused me to be hustling around instead of being able to keep a reasonable and manageable pace with my tasks. I now have to cram it all into one afternoon or a few hours or stay up late to get things done. So, when I’m waffling between my couch and writing that blog post, I ask myself “What will future me be wishing I’d done in this moment?” Usually the answer is doing the productive thing. Sometimes I compromise and do a few productive things and still spend part of the time on the couch. But, hey, at least I still did some productive things instead of squandering my whole time to get stuff done, right?
2. Prioritize The Things That Will Move The Needle On Your Goals
Seeing yourself make steady progress on a goal can be rewarding in itself. By setting an intention and differentiating the busy work from the more impact-making work, you feel more satisfied with the fact that you’re spending time doing it. I like to do this in the mornings as part of my morning routine. I don’t love journaling, but one trick I learned from Sara Dean of The Shameless Mom Academy is the quick journal prompts from her 15 Minute Manifest. You are supposed to write down 3 things after each prompt. The prompts are the following:
“Today I am grateful for…”
“Today I want to feel…”
“Today I want to accomplish…”
I find these prompts helpful to get a clear picture of what I need to do each day. I try to avoid writing things like “Clean the refrigerator” or “Pick up groceries” on the 3 things I want to accomplish. Instead I make sure they pertain to my goals. For instance, 3 things I wrote recently were: outline two blog posts, prototype the main screen of my app, and find a program that allows me to download an IOS UI kit. These are things that actually bring me closer to reaching my goals. If I do nothing but these three things, then my day is still a success. Plus, I don’t find myself waffling about what to do when I get spare moment to do something.
3. Make Tasks More Enjoyable
If you’re really struggling to write those few paragraphs of your book or to build the frame of that thingy you’re building, try setting the mood. Maybe lighting a good-smelling candle will help give you some good vibes. Perhaps listening to some music that pumps you up will increase your productivity. If it’s something a little more mundane and not requiring a lot of brainpower, listening to an audio book or a good podcast can make the time more enjoyable. You should do whatever little things you can do to brighten your work space. Just doing that little bit can make a difference in the head space in which you work.
So, there you have it. My top 3 things that help motivate me to get stuff done and put off my Netflix for another time. I know it will always be there waiting for me later. I also know that future me will feel she’s accomplished something before sitting down to enjoy her TV time.
Much love and productive vibes,
Momma Caped Nerd ❤
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