Staying motivated

There’s something about winter that evokes an infectious laziness amongst us. With fewer daylight hours, the need for multiple cosy layers and the indulgence in a whole lot of comfort food, it’s so easy to get lost in a void of procrastination at this time of year. Believe me, I’m currently experiencing it.

I have been keeping up with essential things such as uni work, but I’ve noticed that my unproductive, sleep-filled, binge-watching days have become much more common in this last month. As someone who is usually pretty organised, this is something that really frustrates me, yet something that at the same time, I’m making minimal effort to put a stop to. I know, I know, it doesn’t make sense to me either.

So in the wake of an actual productive day, I wanted to write a list of easy tips on how to stay motivated during the lazy-season. Perhaps as a reminder to myself if nothing else, but I hope that they can help a few other people out nonetheless.

 

MAKE A TO DO LIST

One of the simplest things you can do to get motivated is write a list of all of the things you want to get done in a day. I find that when I have lots to do, it can quickly become overwhelming and I have no idea where to start…so instead I sit scrolling through my social media for hours. Classic.

By writing down an ordered, clear list of what you actually need to get done, the process feels slightly less daunting, not to mention the satisfaction you get from actually crossing things off that list.

Ensure that the lists you make are realistic, you can’t perform miracles in one day and a ridiculously long, and therefore inevitably uncompleted, to-do list is only going to make you feel worse. Start small, and build it up afterwards.

 

A CLEAR ROOM EQUALS A CLEAR MIND

Isn’t it funny how it can take 2 hours to clean your room but only 2 minutes to mess it up again? Just one of the wonderful things about life I guess.

I completely believe that your environment affects your mood, energy and most definitely, your work ethic. Working in your bedroom can be cosy and nice, especially during winter, but if you find yourself perched on a tiny space in amongst all your clutter, this is really detrimental to your motivation. By having a clear room, you have space to think and work without feeling cramped or distracted.

Obviously the prospect of cleaning doesn’t fill many people with joy, but there are a few really small things you can do to keep your space clear such as making your bed, and clearing your desk. give yourself some space to breathe.

 

HAVE A CHANGE OF SCENERY

As tidy as your bedroom may be, working within the same four walls for hours on end is enough to make anyone question their sanity.

I am particularly guilty of this one as I always work in my bedroom, so I am now looking into other places I can go to do my work. If your bedroom is both your work space and your relaxing space, you could start feeling pretty conflicted when it comes to motivation.

Instead, maybe try going to a local library, or even a cafe where you can plug your laptop in. The change of scenery not only keeps you sane, but pushes you to get your work done, allowing you to relax guilt-free at home.

 

MAKE SURE YOU SEE DAYLIGHT

As a student, I’ll be the first to admit that waking up at a reasonable time can be pretty difficult. Obviously I’m not going to preach that you should be waking up at 6am every day because lets be honest, we want to avoid early mornings as much as possible before entering the world of work. BUT, I do think it’s important to get up before lunch time.

I have been having quite a few lazy days off recently where I get out of bed after midday. Of course, the lie in is great, but I end up feeling really gross after a while. Plus, with my lunch then becoming my breakfast, everything in my day starts getting pushed back and before I know it, it’s midnight and I haven’t even started the thing that I was meant to have finished that day…

There’s no need to be a super keen early bird, but try and give yourself a few more hours in the day, you’ll be surprised what you can achieve.

DO SOME EXERCISE

I am going to start this one off by straight away declaring that I am a hypocrite. At the moment, I am SO BAD at exercising. As in, I don’t exercise full stop. I’m going to try and blame it on the fact that I have moved to a new country, and ignore the reality that there is a gym roughly 100m away from my house that my flat mate regularly goes to…

I have made a promise to myself that after Christmas I’m going to step up my exercise game because I do think it’s so important for keeping you motivated. You probably already know all of the spiel about endorphins so I won’t bore you with that. However, I’ll just say that from experience (back when I used to exercise) working out has always made me feel much more energised and motivated, and even if I don’t get all of my work done, I still feel like I’ve had a productive day!

I guess I’ll add this to one of my to-do lists then…

 

So there are five easy things that I need to remind myself to do this winter. The last piece of advice I want to give is to not be too hard on yourself. As someone that does this all too often myself, I know that there is really no point in making yourself feel guilty about your inevitable lazy days, if anything, just think that they make you appreciate the productive ones more!

I hope this post can help anyone out there who is struggling with winter laziness…at least, I hope I’m not the only one.