Even if you're a night owl, you can still have more productive mornings if you put in a little effort to make getting up easier. Of course, it still won't be easy, but if you like the idea of a more relaxing start to the day, here are some suggestions to get you started.
Tagged With motivation
For most of my life, I've just drifted. I would work passionately at one thing for a while, then I'd burn out on that thing and move on to something else. I felt like I had a good grip on what I needed to do today, but in terms of thinking about the big picture of my life, I just didn't have any idea.
November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo and that means that if you haven't started your story yet, now is the perfect time. Writing has a ton of mental and emotional benefits, so let's get started! Here are some tools that will help.
Contrary to our romanticised notions, writers don't just sit around all day, drink coffee and scotch and wait for inspiration to strike. Like any other job, they have to be disciplined and productive. While that does involve lots of coffee, it also requires hard work. Here's how some famous authors have kept their nose to the grindstone.
Have you ever told yourself no? I definitely have. I'm talking about thoughts like "Why bother applying? I doubt that school would ever accept me," or "This business idea isn't going to work. I'm too old/too young/too inexperienced". Or maybe "He'd never date me. I might as well move on." Or "My boss won't promote me anyway. Why should I even ask?" From what I can tell, we all doubt ourselves from time to time. The problem, of course, is that telling yourself no prevents you from getting started at all. When you decide not to act, you deny yourself opportunities. Once I realised this, I started following a simple little rule that has helped me stick to things and persevere when I normally would have given up. Here's how it works and why you should use it.
Deliberate learning, when you set aside time and effort specifically to learn, helps you make progress mastering a new skill because you've dedicated time to thinking and reflecting. But finding the time can be tough, so use the five hour rule, where you set aside five hours a week to better yourself, to ease into it.
There's an insidious quirk to your brain that, if you let it, can drive you absolutely batty. Tell me if this sounds familiar to you: You get anxious about confronting somebody in your life. That anxiety cripples you and you start wondering why you're so anxious. Now you're becoming anxious about being anxious. Oh no! Doubly anxious! Now you're anxious about your anxiety, which is causing more anxiety. Quick, where's the whiskey?
When you really have to get things done, all you need to do is get started. If you're struggling, focus on something small. Even an answered email, short report finished, or another small win is all it takes to build a little momentum to tackle the big stuff.
If your productivity system isn't one that you can trust to actually help you work, it's no good. In a recent post at the GTD blog, David Allen explains why it's so important for your productivity system to trustworthy, or you'll wind up putting more effort into the system than into the work you need to do.