TIPS ON HOW TO STAY MOTIVATED AND GET S**T DONE
Can we all just agree that procrastination is such a wonderful, but equally as destructive, thing? I could genuinely spend hours and hours watching Tasty videos on Facebook, reading the last four pages of articles on Stylist, or y'know, 'organising' my wardrobe for the twelfth time that week in order to deflect from the actual important tasks that need to be tackled that day.
As a side note, know that half way through writing this post, I picked up my phone to take stupid (yet hilarious) videos on Snapchat... tut tut Jasmine.
The more that I talk to fellow bloggers, or other freelancers in general, I realise that I'm far from alone. Yes, actual finding the work can be difficult at times but one of the biggest battles of a freelancer is actually finding the motivation to get said work done. I absolutely love my job, like A LOT, and I count myself very lucky in that I can work for myself but there are definitely days where I find myself wishing I could go back to a more conventional routine. Having full control over your own time, your schedule and setting your own goals takes a lot of dedication and motivation. All in all, I tend to do alright and I make sure that the necessities are completed by the time I put my laptop away at the end of the day, but there are definitely days where I wish I could push myself to do even more.
So here I am, writing this post so that on those days where all I wanna do is curl up on the sofa watching back-to-back episodes of Ab Fab and gorging on a packet of biscuits, the blogging angel on my shoulder can remind me of the next few paragraphs so that I can find the motivation to pay for all the clothes I keep buying 'in the name of work'.
I hope that this helps any of you who need a kick up the bum at any point too.
FIND YOUR CREATIVE HUB
Finding somewhere where you can switch off and let your creative juices flow is something that takes a little while. Unfortunately right now, I don't have a dedicated office, so when I first started working from home, I thought I'd spend most of my time writing from either my bed or my sofa. But in fact, I stay clear of both places during 'working hours'. For me, I tend to sit at our kitchen table, in the same spot, facing a wall (sounds more prison-like than it is ha!) It means that I'm comfortable - but not too comfortable - and there are very minimal distractions so my main focus is the laptop in front of me. Another thing to add is that I try to get dressed as normal every day, even if I'm just having a home day, because that's the only way I feel like I'm in 'work mode' and I'm slightly less tempted to crawl back into bed every five minutes.
MAKE A LIST
This is such an obvious one and one that absolutely everyone harps on about but I only recently decided to start doing this myself and so far, I've found it to be incredibly helpful. Writing a daily to-do list of actionable tasks means that you know exactly what needs to be done and there's no avoiding it. It's right there in black and white (or whatever colour pen you fancy ha!) The best part? Putting a big fat line through each task once you've completed it is ludicrously satisfying. The one aspect that I highly recommend is to prioritise each task to avoid the ominous "I don't know where to start" cycle.
Following on from the above; no productivity system, no shiny new app, no amount of coffee, will ever give you more hours in the day. Very sadly. Time's the equaliser, the single factor that limits us all and sometimes that's something I struggle with accepting. Despite being a procrastination Queen, I'm also the kind of woman who wants every single thing done right away. Which obviously isn't possible. It's important to be realistic in determining what you can accomplish each day; I'd suggest trying to add an estimated duration for each task so you're not overextending yourself. Also that way you won't be kicking yourself unnecessarily when you can't get all five billion things ticked off your list.
EARLY BIRD OR NIGHT OWL?
Being a freelancer, and especially a blogger, requires you to work many, many hours of the day. Compared to my previous full-time job, I probably put double the amount of hours in - which seems utterly ridiculous, but it's true. In order to manage your time, you need to figure out at which times of the day you are most productive. I've forever been an early bird - I'm the kinda woman who wakes up at 7:30am on a Sunday - so it's only natural for me to get a large percentage of my work day done in the morning hours when I've got the most energy. It also means that if I've tackled most of my list by midday, I have the flexibility to take a longer lunch break or if I want to, I can take the evening off to have a couple of cocktails with the girls. I know many people that work into the very early hours of the morning, and are very efficient at doing so, but for me, switching on my laptop at 10pm is pointless because I'll only ever be yearning for my bed.
DITCH THE DISTRACTIONS
I really don't want to write this part because I know that this post will hold me accountable to actually having to begrudgingly ditch the distractions myself. I very rarely go to switch on the TV but I do find myself trawling through Instagram / Twitter more often that I'd like to admit. And yes, I could definitely say it's 'research' but we all know that I'd just be kidding myself. Social media and Whatsapp are my two main problem areas, both of which are usually done via my phone so I think an obvious solution would be to have "no phone" times throughout the day to minimise distractions. The thought of that doesn't please me much though haha.
KNOW WHEN TO SAY NO
When I first starting blogging, I wanted to attend every single meet-up and every single blogging event. And don't get me wrong, networking and the like is very important in boosting your profile, but knowing when to say no is equally as important. Especially when those things are interfering with tasks that are crucial for you to complete. Whilst I appreciate people reaching out to me (and that's completely genuine), when it's the third time in a week where I've been invited to a cocktail making class, I'm going to have to start putting my foot down. There are only so many evenings where I can justify getting tipsy on fun cocktails and then coming home to write nonsensically. You guys don't want my drunken nonsense, trust me, I'll save that for Twitter.
I purposefully posted this on a Sunday night so we can all start this next week GETTIN' S**T DONE TOGETHER. Let's smash it!