8 Tools to keep you motivated and productive all day
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Alright, guys so all my life I have had the hardest time with staying motivated and focused throughout my day. This has caused me to frequently fall short of my life goals, and fail to meet even daily goals. I’ve always been the person to start something and then burn out on it halfway through or not ever start it at all.
This always made me wonder if this was a problem that everyone else had and I was just being lazy or a baby or if there was a reason for this particular behavior occurrence.
So, I decided to go to the doctor one day to finally get some answers to my questions about if this was normal for everyone to struggle this much. Before I say anything else I want to say that I am huge about self-help and doing things for yourself rather than trying to cover the problem or see problems that aren’t there.
That being said I have family members who have ADHD and growing up I was in additional reading and math classes all the way up to my freshman year in high school. For some reason, things just didn’t click for me and I found myself losing focus and daydreaming about something else a minute or two into a lecture or conversation with someone else, no matter how hard I tried not to.
That in combination with other things like being very forgetful, and having to re-read something no joke sometimes 10 times before I actually heard what I was reading, my ex-boyfriend would actually tell me that he was worried I might have Alzheimer’s it was that bad.
Anyway I went to the doctors and he did some tests and it turned out I actually had ADHD. In some ways, I was relieved to find out because my entire life up until that point I always felt stupid, and being diagnosed with ADHD mean that I wasn’t dumb I just had to work harder than a lot of other people at most things in life.
This leads me to my main point in writing this post. It turns out one of the characteristics of someone with ADHD is that we have a tendency to put off difficult tasks or tasks that require a long amount of concentration, explains a lot….
I even if you don’t have a ADHD or some other disorder, there are so many things in our world today that can make it hard to want to complete or start a task or really even stay motivated to do so.
So over time, I found things that really work well for me to stay motivated and actually get things done.These tips help me in work or working out really anything that I’ve struggled with in the past.
Before I get to the list I have put together a pretty cool free printable that includes some of the tools mentioned on this list to help you in getting more organized and staying more motivated, so that you can finally achieve the things you’ve been wanting. You can get it by entering your email below!
Now time for the list!
- Isolate yourself from digital distractions and noise
I have to make sure I’m in an environment that I associate with work and only work. I have a bad habit of trying to work in my room on my bed with the tv going in the background. This is a terrible way to work. Your bedroom is where we sleep and relax, literally the opposite of what we need to be doing when trying to get things done.
To eliminate this problem I turned the dining room into my office I put my back to the window and made sure I couldn’t see the tv.
When I was in school I would find a small room where no one else was at and would work alone rather than with other students like some of my other classmates.
- I took breaks
This method of taking scheduled breaks, usually every 25 to 30 minutes actually has a name and was taught to me while I was in school for web development. It’s called the Pomodoro technique.
The average person can really only stay focused for a maximum amount of 25 to 30 minutes and then our brains automatically start shutting down and stop retaining information. And I’m telling you it’s true.
When I was in school even knowing this I would be stubborn and stare at a problem for hours before finally deciding to take a break, when I finally came back a lot of the time I would be back for not even five minutes before the solution come to me. Oh the time and frustration I could have saved myself…
When you try this out the key is to work for 25ish minutes and then take a 5-minute break. During your break, you should be doing something to relax and completely unrelated to your work. If you spend your break going outside and sit there still thinking about work, your really not taking a break at all.
- Drown out distractions with a commonality
There are a lot of times where simply being in and an isolated room would not be enough for me I was still able to think of other things and drift off to something else.
In this case, this is where I make an exception to the noise rule. I have a few songs that I’ve listened to so many times that I hear it I can sing the song without really thinking. It keeps my mind busy on the background noise enough to not get distracted, but it allows me to have full focus on the task at hand.
I’m a complete creature of habit and a major binjer, so having the same song on repeat for hours doesn’t bug me at all, I actually like it. For some of you, this may not work as well and you might want to try finding an object you can play within your hands but nothing too complicated.
I don’t know how many of you are Shark Tank fans but I love that show and there was actually a guy name Jason Burns that went on the show and made a device that does this exact thing. The company is called Fidgetland and it sells products to help people stay focused. Burns also has a learning disability and made the toys for himself at first.
- Remind yourself of your goal
I constantly remind myself of my goal for the day but also my goal for the future. I picture what I want and how much I want it and what I need to do to get there. Keeping this in my thoughts regularly gives me the push that I sometimes need to push past the urge to give up or stop.
- Start the morning running full force
Something I do EVERY morning is get my coffee, go to my office and find a couple related Youtube videos or blog posts to watch or read from people that have accomplished the same things that my goals are aiming towards.
Starting the day right off learning from someone that will help me get there, gets’ me pumped and actually excited to start working hard to make it happen for myself.
Finding resources that can act as mentors for you to learn from for your own goals are key to success. Constant improvement should always be a goal right!
There is a saying that is so appropriate for this point. It goes like this, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
I think that “spend the most time WITH” and “spend the most time ON” can be used interchangeably, keep that in mind when you start off your day.
- Have a mantra
I don’t know if I’d really call it a mantra but it’s something that I tell myself almost every day. I remind myself that if I don’t start now when I look back months or years from now I’ll wish and regret not starting today.
Then I think of all the things that are true about, going back to school, starting my blog, starting a sport I was interested in.
This works really well for working out too. I’ll tell myself that every time I’ve gone to the gym and complete a workout there has never been a single day where I’ve wished I didn’t go or regretted it. But the everyday time that I don’t go I’m always wishing I had gone.
- Having a checklist
This can be as structured or as loose as you want. Mine are generally pretty strict, I usually will write my list the night before, before I wind down for the night, or first thing in the morning when I sit at my desk.
This is something Galvanize taught us when I was in school too. They would have us get pretty detailed and schedule out blocks of time and plot what we were planning on doing during that time, even planning out our 5-minute breaks.
We’d make a list of all things that needed to get done that day and as it got done we were able to cross it out on the whiteboard.
Having something in writing displayed up on the wall that can be crossed out, is almost like a reward system. It’s a great feeling to be able to physically see the things you’ve gotten accomplished that day.
When it’s written up on a board, it can be disappointing to see nothing crossed out so it acts as a great motivator as well.
Having a schedule written out also help immensely to stay focused on the right things and keeps you from getting stuck on one thing for too long.
If you like the idea of a schedule helper, I have put together an awesome FREE printable I use daily, that will assist you in getting more organized, and help you to get to your goals.
8. Do the hardest tasks first
You are always the most motivated to get sh** done at the very beginning of your work day, and as time goes on you start losing focus and momentum, this is why I always try to do my most difficult tasks first. That way when you’re running low on juice and have to think of all the things left you to have to do the list doesn’t seem so daunting.
This is also the reason I prefer to workout in the morning when I’m still half unconscious and don’t have the brain capacity to argue with myself yet 🙂
Although on the days that I really don’t want to go to the gym, I’ll work out at home. So for these kinds of days, you feel the same, I wrote a post on my list of Must Have Amazon items you need for any at home workout.
I know gym equipment can get expensive, but we’re all about saving money here on heatherpaigeblog.com, so I put together a list of equipment that will not break the bank but will still allow you to get in a killer at home workout, so be sure to check that out!
Alrighty, that’s it for this list, you guys. I hope you guys have found this post helpful. This list is something I personally use every day to help me manage my ADHD and personal goals.
Thanks so much for visiting me on the blog today. Like always I want to make sure you guys are finding my posts helpful, so if you enjoyed this post be sure to leave a comment below and I’ll be sure to create more content in the future like this!
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