5 Ways to Stay Productive

Staying productive can be tough.

Persevering with groggy eyes, low energy, and ongoing sleep deprivation makes this task even more difficult. Whether you’re a student involved in far too many extracurricular activities, or an adult keeping up with one or two strenuous jobs, losing momentum is common.

It’s tough to stay motivated. Being productive while your career is hanging on the wire or your family is going through a rough patch is never easy to overcome. Yet no matter how many pep talks your loved ones may provide, staying productive your decision. It’s up to you whether or not your weekly workouts will actually be completed. You must decide whether you will read the 5 books you have been aching to get through.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to drink an elixir? Some concoction that somehow maintains your productivity?

I’d drink that. Wouldn’t you?

Some of you are likely equating that elixir to another, much less mysterious mixture drunk daily by millions – caffeine. Oh, the joys of caffeine. A substance often utilized by people to maintain motivation. While this may seem effective at first, caffeine actually has some terrible side effects. That sudden, unsettling crash you may have recently experienced after a large coffee intake?

Yeah – that’s the most common side effect of caffeine.

If this sounds like you, perhaps a decrease in caffeine consumption is worth considering. At first, you may feel like you’re betraying a friend. After all, caffeine-filled dark roasts likely got you through college. You probably spent numerous late nights reading lengthy text assignments. Such evenings probably paired well with large doses of caffeine.

But you don’t need caffeine to stay productive. There are plenty of other options out there. Stay motivated with these tips.

1. Exercise

Seriously, just do it.

It may take time to get accustomed to working out. That muscle cramp in your calf? Yeah, that’s likely going to last for a couple weeks. But eventually, you will learn to enjoy it. Let endorphins take over. That happy, satisfied feeling will clear your mind. Your concerns about other, less important stresses will fade. In turn, you will feel far more motivated to complete the task at hand.

Find a fun workout and stick with it. Your body – and mind – will thank you for it later.

2. Sleep

Get at least 6 to 8 hours of sleep per night, if possible.

This isn’t easy for everyone. Busy, demanding schedules tend to get in the way of a good night’s rest. But rather than staying up for 2 extra hours to study, shut your lights off, close that textbook, and get some well-deserved sleep.

How much actual studying will you truly accomplish in those last two hours of your study binge? Your eyes will droop, you will already be on a caffeine drip, and those highlights in your textbook will lose meaning. If you’re making a fresh pot of coffee at midnight to study all night, you’re doing it wrong. By the time your class starts the following morning, you will have forgotten much of the information you studied the previous night.

That being said, let’s discuss napping.

Do you have time to nap during the day? If so, do it!

Your nap doesn’t need to be prolonged. Do you have a half hour to squeeze in some shut eye between shifts? Take advantage of it. Limit yourself to a 20 to 30 minute power nap. You will think straighter once your mind is given opportune time to rest.

5 Ways to Stay Productive - Find Inspiration!

3. Find Some Inspiration

Your environment influences your attitude. Change it up once in a while to gain back some momentum.

Your living room or make-shift study space will lose its appeal soon enough. Then, your concentration will lessen considerably. That home office you work remotely from may feel constricting.

Are you having a tough time studying? If so, drag your textbooks elsewhere! Try a local park or a downtown café. Artists need inspiration to craft music, paint elaborate depictions, and write interesting articles. Runners may find an outdoor path more appealing than a treadmill workout.

Staring at the same wall for months will not keep you productive. If this is your issue, take your project or activity elsewhere. If your chosen activity space isn’t the issue, perhaps you just need a nudge.

Create a list of personalized statements. Write this list from you to yourself. Include inspirational quotes, motivational sayings, and ideas to ponder when you’re truly stuck. Do you look up to a specific person or group in your niche? If so, include some of their inspiring quotes.

A little inspiration goes a long way.

4. Take A Break

Move on to something else for a bit. Allowing your brain opportunity to focus on other, possibly less important things will help your concentration.

Don’t go overboard, though.

Breaking from an important task to binge drink will not be helpful. Read for a half hour. Work on another project for a bit. Indulge in a healthy alternative. After your mind has cleared, you will soon feel the desire to return to your original activity.

5. Talk It Out

Grab a friend. Discuss your project with this person.

At times, especially when it comes to creative hobbies, a voice of reason proves especially helpful. Converse about project ideas – perhaps you will gather some inspiring possibilities.

It’s possible you are having a difficult time staying motivated because of internal worries.

Is this good enough? Will anyone care? Am I the only one who reads these articles?

Voicing your concerns to a loved one may alleviate some of that pressure. A little pep talk never hurt anyone, right?

Productivity Is Your Beast to Tame

Though staying motivated can be tricky, you can combat those feelings of apathy. Find a way to make your life  better for you. Figure out what tip might help the most. Perhaps you need to change up your sleep schedule. Maybe you need to deeply consider those you spend the most time with.

Utilize one the aforementioned tips, or come up with your own. You’ll never get anywhere if you don’t help yourself forward.

And remember – the desire to remain productive may be all you need. If so, find a way to ignite that feeling within. It may take time. Just know you aren’t alone in this. You never know, your friend may have just found a way out of her funk with ease!

Pick the brains of those around you. Figure out what works for you. Don’t let productivity be your enemy.