Everyone has those moments where they’re saying to themselves:
“I have a crazy amount to do, but because I have so much to do, I can’t get
anything done.” It’s like being stuck in a weird cycle of trying to actually
get a task complete but ending up two steps behind. Before you know it, the
hours are disappearing and it’s getting dark and another day has gone.
Sometimes, I have days where I have spent the entire day actually doing
something, but I couldn’t tell you what I’ve done. For instance, I spent a lot
of time on my laptop (even when I’m not blogging), but I don’t even know what
I’m doing. I guess that’s the definition of browsing the web. But I really
don’t like those days. As much as I enjoy relaxing and lounging around, I like
to feel like I have accomplished something or at least moved forward a little
bit. Over the past year, I’ve discovered a few methods I use to help me stay on
track and GET. STUFF. DONE.
I do find it very easy to forget the smaller tasks when my
brain is in high speed mode and I can’t tell up from down. While I find myself
trying to work out what I need to do, or even constantly repeating my to-do
list in my head, it’s time to write it all down. I spend so much time in
Paperchase, it’s time to finally start using those (billions) of notebooks I
have collected. Having different notebooks for different activities has also
helped, for example: I have a notebook that is only for drafts of chatty
blogposts, and I have a diary to note down different events or places I need to
be, as well as a journal that is design solely for writing down to-do and
shopping lists. It’s really helpful to have all that brain noise on a page
rather than in my head.
USE DO NOT DISTURB
It’s ridiculously easy for me to get lost in my phone. One
Snapchat message and I’m watching a whole bunch of stories and have lost half
an hour. The same applies to Twitter;
I have notifications turned on, so whenever I’m tweeted I know immediately. This is helpful for
blogging, but an enormous distraction as tapping the home tab has almost become
instinctual. For the most extreme of circumstances, I will plug out my WiFi hub
and work from my bedroom just so I’m not tempted to use the internet on my
laptop. It’s natural to start researching things on the internet, or shopping
online for your OOTD look, but before you know it, you’re completing your
eighteenth BuzzFeed quiz and watching night routines on YouTube – not okay.
If listening to Eye of the Tiger on repeat was an option, I
would do it, but I’m positive it would drive me crazy. Music that motivates you
to work hard is definitely a top tip, because there’s always a playlist out
there that’s full of songs to get you going. I tend to avoid YouTube for
playlists, because I could easily end up watching a Too Faced palette tutorial
rather than working. Spotify, Soundcloud, 8tracks, and Pandora are all great
music streaming services that have pre-made playlists. Sometimes I prefer to
use my own playlists, but try to avoid music that results in me acting out a
music video in my room, or running around the house like a mad woman. It’s said
that classical music helps with focus, but I find that music I’m interested in
and can bop around to is great for blogging – as long as it’s not full blast!
ONE THING AT A TIME
When you’re very busy, with too much to do, it’s really easy
to start doing multiple things at once, ending up with a load of half-done
jobs. There have even been times when I’m excited to write blogposts and have
plenty of ideas, so I’m trying to write them all out at once and it just ends
up falling apart. Sticking to one task at a time is a really easy way to stay
focused. With a to-do list laid out, there’s no need to stress about other
things that could be forgotten. I don’t like to juggle things, simply because
I’m not co-ordinated enough so pushing all else aside and working on one
activity is the best way to stay on track. Although it may not seem
time-effective, it means the jobs that are done are done well.
Panicking gets you absolutely nowhere. It’s really
common for me to sit and think, “Oh my goodness I have so much to do and I
don’t know where to start and now I can’t breath and uh-oh panic mode!” This is
one of the worst mind sets to be in, as it results in the vicious cycle again.
Even when working, I can get distracted and start stressing about the workload.
I’ve found that taking breaks every so often is really helpful, but also
training my brain to turn down all that noise, turn it into English, and turn
it into action. When the worry sets in, it’s important to take a moment to step
back and return with a fresh point of view. Panic mode is not a fun mode, and
can be quite discouraging too.