Be productive when you are not motivated

We all have those days (heck maybe weeks) where productivity wains and we feel less than stellar about the work we aren’t getting done.  I have a few thoughts on that, one being that productivity ebbs & flows – it’s all part of the process.  Secondly, I ALWAYS say no to hustle culture.  I mean, like the rest of us …I want it all (progressive career, great marriage, be a loving mother, hang with my friends, drink 3L of water and workout daily) – but I remember that REST will help me accomplish all the things.

  1. Take a break from your workplace 
    Essentially you want to remove yourself from you current situation. Whether that means taking a walk, going to a coffee shop or sitting on your deck.  Changing your environment (and in short order) will provide a new perspective as well as a break so you can come back with a fresh mind.
  2. Put your phone in another room
    Staying off your socials, not constantly checking chat/emails or other apps  will help to eliminate distractions (which when providing a false/high dopamine fix will further prevent one from getting work done).  I’m yet to master this …let alone try it… But we all know mindless doom scrolling and social media comparisons, can put you in a funk. So an easy way to remove distractions is to time block your phone breaks.  
  3. Complete the smallest – easiest task: 
    What is important here is create the impression of progress on our minds.  One small task could be finishing a bottle of water or sending an email you are dreading.  Once you complete that task, and mark it off your list – it will create an automatic momentum and willingness to keep going!
  4. Use the momentum and a focused playlist to keep going:
    Once you’ve completed one task, use the that feeling to keep you going on to something else.  Sometimes it helps to play your favourite music or a brown noise playlist. Keep on single tasking till you get three of your top priorities completed.

Outfit details:
Dress: Old | Shoes: Aldo | Purse: Chanel | Sunnies: Amazon

My Ideal Day

Outfit, Fashion, OOTD, Habits, Productivity, Goals, Healthy, Running, Goal Setting

I truly feel alignment is the spice of life.  Aligning to my goals, hobbies, dreams, passions, career and community – as much as I can EVERYDAY.   Of course there are days where what I want do is “align” to comfort (aka binge watch a series on Netflix!!)  But by choosing alignment, I make a conscious decisions when it comes to to re-aligning or readjusting my day to handle priorities or new needs.

Outfit, Fashion, OOTD, Habits, Productivity, Goals, Healthy, Running, Goal Setting, Journaling

I recently did the daily habit score cards as outlined in Atomic Habits.  What you need to do is write down every thing you do most days.  Things like brush your teeth, drop your kids at school, read on the train, scroll IG while making a coffee, take a walk over lunch,  meditate before bed are some of the habits that I would need to record.  Even the habits you don’t think are important like snooze the alarm or set the alarm for the next day are recorded in this list of habits.  Then I used a +, – or = to denote positive/beneficial habits, negative habits and neutral habits.

Outfit, Fashion, OOTD, Habits, Productivity, Goals, Healthy, Running, Goal Setting

What this exercise did was help me visually see and recognize habits that weren’t helping me get to where I see myself in the future or on path to attain certain goals.  It’s a helpful way to honestly look at and become more aware of your behaviour.

Outfit, Fashion, OOTD, Habits, Productivity, Goals, Healthy, Running, Goal Setting

What it got me thinking about was, what my ideal day would consist of  (ie: turn my habits into goals).  It made me aware of what activities make me feel energized, bring me joy and what things I want to do to improve my everyday.  What I saw was those activities were grouped into the following categories:

  • Growth (Professional, Personal and Spiritual)
  • Exercise/Eating healthy foods
  • Quality Family Time
  • Being prepared
  • Doing Work that I enjoy and is a priority for me
  • Having fun
  • Getting Enough Rest

So here is a snapshot of what I see as my ideal day:

Wake up (without an alarm!), meditate and journal (optimal journalling practice for me would be either a brain dump/artists way writing, combined with gratitude, goal setting and a to do list).   Drink a bottle of water and then get dressed in my workout clothes and spend 15 minutes reading before the rest of the house wakes up.   If it’s a Wednesday or a Weekend, I’d probably wear a facemark. When the kids wake up, I’d help them get ready for the day and we all head downstairs. The kids would have breakfast and after dropping them off at school I’d do my outdoor workout (tempo run through a forest, HIIT or heavy weight training).  Getting back home, I’d drink water and have a healthy breakfast that I prepped the night before.  I’d make tea and refill my water bottle and get to work where I contribute to and add value to peoples life with both a tech and human centric approach.  I would schedule meetings for the afternoons because my most productive time is between 9am-2:30pm, I’d want to use that time to work, write, photograph, create, ideate, research, work on projects, strategize or consult.  I would break for lunch (to eat something I prepped the night before with lots of veggies/fibre, fish or eggs and a complex carb with more water) and definitely take a leisurely stroll to energize and also digest the meal.  I’d spend the remainder of my afternoon drinking more water and either in meetings, training or creating.  Before picking up the kids, I would love to have a tea break or coffee chat with a colleague or business partner.  After, picking the kids up from school, we’d have an afternoon snack and do homework or get to after school extra curricular activities. Dinner would be prepped or at least planned and we’d eat as a family. Before bed we’d hang out (go for a walk, bike ride or play a game or watch the WNBA game).  After the kids are in bed, I’d prep for the next day before taking some me time to either study, stretch/foam roll, shower, netflix or blog. I’d end the date with a peppermint tea with a few pieces of dark chocolate or home-made cookies. Definitely would want to be in bed by 10:30 after brushing/flossing my teeth and taking time to spiritually self reflect.

Wow just writing that out was so relaxing.  And of course things may come up where I’d have to adjust my attention to handle a priority but the hope is keeping my day as closely aligned to my main goal categories.  Every small step would create a ripple effect towards my goals.