There certainly seems to be a lot of content surrounding COVID-19 circling the internet right now– which makes sense because it is consuming everybody’s lives in an almost supernatural way. So I hate to throw my hat into this ring of COVID content, but goal-setting and productivity on my own without the structure of a scheduled life is something I’ve become quite good at over the past few years, so I figured I’d share my thoughts at a point in time where it is so applicable to everyone’s lives.
First and foremost, though, I’d like to add that I don’t think productivity is the primary way we should be measuring the worth or value of our days. Sometimes, the best thing for you to do with your day isn’t the most productive option– and that’s okay!
For anyone looking for a way to be more successful in setting and accomplishing some goals over the course of the next few weeks, read on.
These are my three tips for achieving your goals. They aren’t in any particular order; this isn’t “three steps to success”. These are simply three things that have proved important and useful in finding productivity that doesn’t feel too laborious to me. Happy WFHing! 🙂
The first step to accomplishing goals is finding momentum. The best way to achieve momentum is to start small. When you’re riding a bike, you don’t take off at maximum speed; you must first turn the pedals slowly, wobble a little if you must, before you work up to the pace you want.
If you’re just beginning to find your footing in your journey to at-home productivity, set a small set of tasks to accomplish on day one– nothing too intimidating! If you get through it, that’s great. If you don’t, that’s also fine. As long as you’ve begun, that’s all that matters.
The trick is to keep increasing your load day by day until you’re comfortable with the amount you’re accomplishing on a daily basis. And remember! If you wake up feeling particularly unmotivated on a particular day, it’s OKAY to back it off a little. Take a chill day every once in awhile. (For you, this could mean doing less, or it could mean actually doing nothing.)
Remember, long-term success comes from overall consistency– not strict adherence!
My second piece of advice is then to decide what it is you exactly want to accomplish with your time in the long term, and break it into little chunks you can actually do in one day.
For example, if your goal is to get through a stack of books, figure out how many pages a day you would need to read to have accomplished that by whatever deadline you want to set for yourself.
For me, I don’t have a particular reading list I want to complete, but I want to feel as if I am reading a decent amount. (Certainly more than I would if I wasn’t house-bound.) I settled on about 100 pages as a daily goal.
It’s great to have goals, but you have to have a plan of action if you want to see them executed. So after you’ve made that to-do list for your self-isolation, figure out what you small thing you can do every day to see it happen.
My final tip is to remain flexible. I strongly believe our beings reject strict routine. After enough repetitions, it’s just not going to be sustainable. Listen to your body and your mind. Each morning, set out with intentions but be open to those intentions changing. Even if you still end each day checking the same items off your checklist, allow the order to shift in accordance with how you’re feeling. Some days you may start off by jumping right into productivity. Other days, chill out with a cup of coffee and read or watch T.V. or journal or chat with your family a bit before starting. Don’t feel guilty about not keeping a routine.
Routines are great for providing structure, but too much of a good thing can become a bad thing. So allow yourself room to experience new things and new practices within the routine you set for yourself.
I think the overarching theme of this whole ordeal is to remain forgiving and flexible. You can’t expect perfection from yourself, and you can’t carry around guilt or negativity surrounding not meeting all your expectations. By the time you’ve gotten over both the setback and the hit to your esteem, you’ll be even farther behind than if you’d just acknowledged the chance in your plans and proceeded onward.
Lessen the burdens you hold on yourself, it can only help you!