I had a look at my calendar yesterday and I realised that I have been out of university for three weeks already! Where does the time go? While it is great to have so much time to myself, I do find that I have a tendency to just fall into a slump and do nothing for weeks on end.That’s okay if I’m off for a limited amount of time but since this might end up being more of a long term arrangement I have been battling the laziness. Damn, it’ shard! There is always the vast expanse of the internet just round the corner, the temptation to just curl up in bed and sleep (and I can sleep a lot…) or the unlimited number of cheap terrible novels on amazon at an arms reach. But, I have been fighting back! Here are my strategies so far:
1. Keep a daily to do list – I write mine either the night before or first thing in the morning. Anything goes on there: Things I want to do, things I have to do and things I have been planning to do. Then I work of as much as I can. I don’t always finish it which is okay if something else got in the way. I tried making an actual schedule but found it too restricting so lists work better.
2. Don’t break the chain – I read about this on the internet somewhere. The concept is quite simple: I picked a task that I want to do every day and then I decided what constitutes a “unit”. As an example, one of my tasks is “craft” and I decided that I want to do at least one complete task a day. For example, cutting the shirt yarn was one days worth. Yesterday I got in a rush and just copied a pattern and traced it onto the new fabric. When I have completed the task for the day I make a large black cross. Over time, a chain of crosses built up and I’m not allowed to break the chain. Since I’m a sucker for crossing things off and because the calendars make a great visual reminder, this works really well for me. I deliberately keep my tasks very short as I want to be able to squeeze them in on busy days and I also find that often once I started I keep going anyway. When I’m not here I put a “V” for vacation and at some point I might have to use an “S” for sick so as to keep the chain going when external circumstances prevent me from completing the task. I currently have four tasks in total and that seems to be a good number but I might expand on it or change them around over time.
3. Write down ideas when I’m motivated-I find that when I am really busy I have the best ideas and the best motivation but when I actually have the time I don’t much feel like doing anything any more. So, while I was still revising, I wrote down my ideas and enthusiasm in letters to myself, dairy entries and lists of things to do. Now when I’m bored or just uninspired I can co back to these and pick up a little of my earlier energy.
4. Keep a blog-I’m not joking, writing this blog is a huge motivating factor for me. After all, if I spent three days in bed stuffing my face with chocolate and reading cheap romance novels ( one of my guilty pleasures ) I don’t have anything to write about.
So, that’s what I do to keep myself moving. How do you keep yourself motivated, especially when your day has no structure whatsoever?