Loss of motivation can kill your productivity, but if you can switch things up while you work, you’ll keep yourself fresh and focused. Prioritising and scheduling tasks into activity blocks that aren’t constrained by time can help.
Photo by Jayel Aheram.
If you’re looking for a clever way to approach your to-do list every day, author Frank Viola recommends you build one based on your motivation levels, not the amount of time it will take to complete them. Viola explains to Entrepreneur that he makes a daily task list the night before, which contains up to 10 business and personal tasks that are intermingled together to help keep things balanced:
…I’ll chunk large projects into manageable activity blocks that are not based on time at all. I’ll work on that activity until I’m not motivated by it anymore, then I’ll move on to another activity block. This ensures I’m only applying my best ability to every activity rather than half-hearted efforts.
Viola still handles urgent issues first to avoid procrastination, but the rest of his tasks fit into a “tight but loose” schedule. If, for example, you were planning out your day tomorrow, you could list out the 10 things you wanted to get done, then you would organise each item into different blocks or categories. Maybe one block is a work project, another block is busy work and another is personal to-dos.
The next day, pick a block to start with and just get working. When you lose motivation on the current block, switch to a new block, and continue. The key is that you don’t constrain your tasks by time, you constrain them by motivation. You’re still getting everything done, but in an order that’s based on how you feel in the moment, not when you think it should be done.
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