Like most people, the version of me I like to portray online is the parts of me I like the best, and that means I like to write about all the things I’m doing and not the days I spend in my pyjamas. BUT there are pyjama days and after there has been one another one usually follows until it’s been a week and I’m finding stray bits of popcorn in my hair and I can’t remember whether I fell asleep watching Netflix at one in the morning or one in the afternoon. So how do you get out of the pyjama-popcorn-netflix cycle? As a currently (hopefully temporarily) unemployed person I am becoming a bit of an expert in this struggle so I thought I would share my tips on how to get out of a lazy slump.
Set An Alarm
As a non-morning person, don’t worry, I know, I can hear you screaming “An ALARM?!” but hear me out. Routine is key. I know from personal experience that if I sleep in, if I press that snooze button one too many times then my day is screwed. It might suck and you might need an afternoon nap but rather than waking up late, spending ages getting ready, a couple of hour doing something productive, then giving yourself a nice long break until its time to have to dinner and after dinner your sleepy again and you may as well turn in for the night. You see the problem? Getting up early doesn’t mean 6am, you’ll work best after a good nights sleep after all so 8am is a perfectly acceptable time. It doesn’t quite count as a lie in but it’s not as early as you would probably get up for work. It also doesn’t mean you have to get up and get dressed. My most productive mornings are usually spent sitting in bed with my laptop until 11am but the point is I’ve been up and working for a good few hours. That being said, sometimes making the effort to get out of those pj’s and dress for the day can be motivational in itself. Decide what works best for you.
Get Out of The House
At home there are all sorts of naughty temptations like the TV, snacks, a cosy blanket on the sofa, games and lying around sighing, basically whatever is better than what you’re supposed to be doing. Getting out gets you in the mindset to do things. It’s as simple as that. Find a lovely little cafe, get yourself your favourite beverage and get working. Obviously this is assuming the work you have to do is portable but if its not then maybe use this as a treat. Do what you need to do at home but tell yourself that once you’ve done your tasks or spent a couple of hours at them then you can go out somewhere you enjoy. The point remains the same, it’s easier to get on with things without a distraction, as much as possible remove these from your reach and all you’ve got left is what’s in front of you.
Exercise is all round good for you. The TV told me the other day that people don’t move as much as they should. Getting up and doing some exercise is similar to getting out of the house for a bit. It gives you energy and puts you in the right mindset for the day. In the words of Legally Blonde “Exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy and happy people just don’t kill their husbands”. Ok we might need to adapt that a bit but it’s still true. Your mind will be happy and your body will be happy. Your body might not be happy when you’re doing it, or even the day after when you’re aching everywhere but long term it will do you good. I’m not asking you to go run a marathon everyday, a fifteen minute walk will do. Fresh air will clear your mind and get you ready to work. Not to mention you’ll sleep better and that will aid with the whole getting up with your alarm.
I’m a big list maker. I love lists! I’m a total list nerd! I make lists of things I need to do. I have a whiteboard calendar with my plans for the month. I have a weekly planner I constantly scribble on. I’ll be honest I don’t always stick to it but seeing what I need to do and dividing it up into the time I have to do it. I also have a system where I tick off what I’ve achieved and underline anything I didn’t get to in red. I have a rule that the red line can’t remain there for longer than a day. If it’s still there two days later then that’s the priority no matter what else is on the list. Setting yourself rules like this will keep you motivated – so long as you stick to them! Be strict with yourself; that’s the whole point of the red line, it makes the list more than just words on the board, it gives me deadlines.
Make Other Lists
Sometimes the list isn’t enough. Sometimes the red lines are too many and they become big scary, fall off the edge of them kind of red lines and you just feel like a failure for not keeping up with it all. In this case, reverse the system. At the end of the day make a list of all the productive things you’ve achieved. When I did National Novel Writing Month the thing that really motivated me was writing my word count on sticky notes and putting them on my wall. Seeing those words increase everyday was proof that I could do it and I was doing it! This is a more positive way around it. It takes away the guilt (which is sometimes what you need but sometimes not) and instead it empowers you. At the end of the day you see everything you have achieved and when you wake up the next day you know just what you are capable of!