Trick Yourself Productive


I genuinely believe myself to be within the Top 10 most accomplished procrastinators of our time. The vast majority of my uni assignments were submitted with literally one minute to spare, I still haven't given my friend Gabby a Christmas card I made her in 2010 and I put off reading 1984 for so long that I ended up just basing my Year 12 English exam on a bunch of 60 second summaries I found on YouTube. 

Whilst I do somewhat pride myself on the fact that - much to my mother's displeasure - I've never actually had to learn my lesson (still managed an A+ on that exam, thank you brain & bullshitting expertise), since the reality of adulthood has set in I've had to whip myself into shape and actually get shit done. When it comes to my actual job that doesn't take too much strategising because I do not have a choice in the matter, but getting personal creative projects underway alongside 9-5 employment is another ballgame entirely, and that is where these handy little tactics come in. Yes, some of them could be considered forms of procrastination in themselves, but if you think about it they're methods of procrastination that will eventually lead to your productivity, which is actually quite beautiful.


Wake up early.
I hate waking up. I hate it so much. Once I slept for 22 hours straight. However, on (non-work) days that I manage to drag my lifeless form out of bed between 7 and 10am something inside of me snaps and I go hardcore carpe diem. 10am is not "early" (would be rawther a luxurious sleep in during the week), but we're talking about weekends here. Which I could sleep right through if I wanted. Perspective.

Get dressed & presentable.
Doesn't have to be into actual clothes. I read something about how people feel more productive when they're wearing shoes but tbh I can get a boost from just changing into nicer pyjamas. Also I always feel more powerful with a ponytail. The more you know.

Relocate.
Remove yourself from the area where all the good stuff is and go to your dining room, nearby coffee shop or a desk somewhere you don't normally chill. This works on multiple levels because the new environment will shake things up a bit, hopefully take you away from the mentality that's been keeping you from working wherever you were before & remove you from your environmental distractions, but also the sooner you finish the sooner you can retreat to your cave and keep watching Made In Chelsea.

Aesthetic improvement.
Arrange your supplies and surroundings in a way that is pleasing to you.
If I need to explain the importance of this point to you, you are not one of my people.


Get yourself a beverage that says business.
Coffee, tea, maybe whisky if you're going for the troubled poet vibe. Think of a beverage (or a snack if you wanna make it fuckin weird) that matches the energy of your chosen task. For example, when writing essays I'll usually go for the comforting yet studious (and caffeinated) green tea, but if I need to write a blog post or an article then we'll be fangin' down the street for a takeaway coffee.* If the beverage suits the task it will enhance the productive ambiance and push you into gear. You don't want to waste such a perfect match, so you have to write that article now. You have no choice. You can't let down the double shot macchiato.
*Takeaway coffee is the key to literally everything. This will receive its own post in due course.

Micromanage your time.
Figure out how long you want to spend on each specific task and then break it down into smaller sections. For instance, if I had 4 hours to write a 2,000 word essay I would figure out how many words I had to write every 15 minutes in order to finish on time and then make sure I was meeting those goals. It's a lot easier to stay on task when you're checking in more often, and smaller goals make bigger tasks seem more achievable whilst also making you realise that you probably do actually have to start now if you want to finish on time.
Charts and graphs are very helpful for this specific endeavour. Colour-coding encouraged.

Bribe yourself.
'Kiss You' got leaked while I was in the middle of writing an essay and I gave myself a break every 200 words so I could rock the fuck out. Never typed faster. Sometimes if it gets really hekkerz I'll download a new episode of Game of Thrones and not let myself watch it until I've finished my work. Self-bribery works. Just think of things you can do/watch/eat/buy after you're done, or at specific intervals throughout, and do not crack. Once you've cracked you'll know you're weak and everything will be ruined.


Use a good font.
Sometimes a lil Didot is all I need.

Make it public.
Tweet your progress. Snapchat your struggles. Insty your hella minimalist-pinterest-neutral-with-a-spash-of-millennial-pink-also-a-plant-and-the-occasional-tasteful-inspirational-quote workspace. Whatever keeps you motivated and/or accountable.
If bribery doesn't work maybe threats of shame & public failure will.

Harness your crazy.
Sometimes the final push I need to get my ass in gear is to pretend that me doing my work is a scene in a really thrilling movie, or think "this will help me get to One Direction." Kind of like getting into the character of a person who actually has their life in order. Look deep inside your soul and figure out what aspects of your personality you can manipulate to make yourself work faster. I wrote most of my history essays thinking in the voice of a posh middle-aged british man. It works very well.

Think of the future.
I don't mean this like, "Oh shit if I don't do this now I'll fail uni and end up poor and alone". No sir. We are not about that life. I mean it in a similar way to harnessing your crazy. We're talking more along the lines of, "If I finish this now and then start doing that it could lead to this and set me up for that, and then I can live in a hella cute apartment and/or be very famous and/or woo and marry (insert unattainable celebrity or real-life object of affections here) and everyone will be so jealous of my amazing, amazing life." Positive motivation.  Let your dreams be the map, whack your ego in the driver's seat and watch the magic unfold.

Ya welc x0x0

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