Creating good habits for yourself - Part 2
Anti-Procrastination and Anti-Distraction
When it comes to this topic, it’s things that I’ve probably mentioned so many times before on this blog because it’s something that I find really hard to overcome consistently. I get distracted easily and I procrastinate a lot, not because I don’t want to do the work that is in front of me, but because most of the time I don’t believe that I’m good enough to do it. Both of these bad habits waste a lot of my time and often make me feel quite down, which creates a vicious circle of me then feeling guilty and finding ways to distract myself because I don’t want to deal with the problem.
Some of the best ways I’ve found to be more productive and more focused are -
Pomodoro technique - I’ve always found this way of working so helpful because when something distracting does pop into my head, I just think ‘I’ll deal with that at the end of this work interval’. I don’t need to break off from working and I can stay in the zone.
Listening to informative audio - I personally find it really difficult to listen to music while I’m working because I get too amped up and into the music and it makes it really hard for me to focus. So instead, I like to listen to Youtube videos or podcasts that are either positive, business oriented or creatively informative. This way, I don’t have to watch them or focus all of my attention onto them but I can still be learning while I’m working.
Always keep your goals in view - This was something that I constantly struggled with, I would always be writing my goals down in a notebook or on a sheet of paper on my wall, but I noticed that I would always forget what I was supposed to be doing until days later because I never used to look at them. The main place I’m always looking at is my computer screen, so after all of these years of not using the ‘Stickies’ app on a Mac, it’s now where I write all of my goals or tasks and pin them to the front of my screen, it works wonders!
I for one will admit that I can very easily let my mental health get into a bad place unless I very consciously keep on top of it, I am a massive worrier and I overthink absolutely everything to the point where I feel so overwhelmed that I just freeze. The worst part is that it takes me a long time to get back from that so it’s important to me to keep on top of it while I can, rather than let it get to its worst, because I know that when I am in a good place I feel unstoppable when it comes to my work especially!
I feel a bit daft doing these sometimes but your own mental health is probably the most important thing in life so I thought I’d share them anyway!
Have a break - Sometimes it can be difficult to have a break, especially when there’s money to be made and deadlines to meet, but if you’re feeling super stressed about something then you’re definitely going to get a lot less work done than if you were in a better headspace. So if it’s getting too much, don’t make it worse, take a few hours to yourself or even a day or two if you need it.
Positive affirmations - This is something that I think has for sure helped me through some of the darkest times in my life, and I still use it on a daily basis because I know it’s such a good way to rewire my brain. I’m not someone who says them out loud, unless I’m in a REALLY bad place, I mainly just say things in my head over and over again to push out any negative thoughts and only focus on positive ones. So for example I tell myself simple things like ‘You can do this’, ‘You’re awesome’, ‘Everything is going to be OK’ or ‘Everything happens for a reason’. It really is such a big help when you do it consistently and obviously you can find plenty of websites that provide you with affirmation ideas or ones that are super effective.
Write things down - This applies to many things, but for me personally I like to journal and also write down what I want in life or what I want from myself. Journalling is something I’m working on getting back into, because it really helps me to empty my brain of everything that is worrying me and start to think about how I can fix it. I also write down what I want in life quite often and read it over and over, because studies have shown that if you keep reminding your brain of what you want in life (the more specific the better) your brain starts subconsciously working towards that. Who knows if this is actually works, but it definitely can’t be a bad thing to keep reaffirming your future to yourself!
Switching off - To me, this is my ‘me-time’, I’m pretty terrible at taking proper time off or really taking time to myself because I constantly feel guilty and I feel like I should be working instead. However, one of my favourite things ever, is having a day or at least the majority of one where I just completely switch off for a bit. I’ll turn all the notifications off my phone and usually just sit and play a narrative-driven game for a while so I just be completely immersed.
Learn to appreciate your alone time - This was super hard for me for a long time, but over the last 2 years I have learned to really enjoy time by myself, and I also recognise how important it is. If I don’t have some time to myself for a few days in a row I can start to get really agitated because I need that time to process my thoughts and reset a little bit. Time on your own is when you really get to know yourself and figure out what you like, what makes you happy, and what you need to do less of, so make the most of any alone time while you can, because it won’t always be so easy to have it!
I hope that this helped some of you out and gave you some new ideas, I’d also love to hear any good habits that you guys already have for yourselves that I might be able to learn from!