This weekend was Memorial Day Weekend, and that means the unofficial start to summer. But now that summer’s here, maybe you’re starting to feel the summer slow-down. As record highs approach, maybe you’re feeling like it’s time to simply lay out in the hammock and catch some rays.
While this is OK for a while, you don’t want to lose your desire to be productive over the summer — whether you’re organizing your home or just trying to get work done. The following are a two great, quick tips for keeping productive, even when you feel like being unproductive.
1. Set a timer. Decide how long you think a task should take, and set a timer for that amount of time so that you can get it done. If you’re not done when the timer goes off, stop where you are. You’ll need to schedule more time to complete the task later. This works best when you are able to write a list of everything you need to do and a time for each thing at the beginning of each day. Then, you can cross off the things you’ve accomplished while moving the tasks that you did not complete (because the timer ran out) to the next day. Do this often enough, and you’ll learn to stop engaging in those little activities that eat up your time and keep you from being productive — like checking Facebook when you are supposed to be doing something else.
2. Give yourself rewards. If you use the system above, give yourself a reward for getting a task — or two or three — done in the allotted amount of time. Or if you don’t use this system, you can still give yourself rewards by promising yourself a reward after you’ve completed a task that you don’t want to do. Make the rewards small. For example, give yourself time to do one of the “time wasters” you’ve cut out, like checking Facebook. Or allow yourself to do something fun, like look through a photo album you found or listen to your favorite song. This will get you through those tasks that you don’t like to complete.
These two methods are simple, but they are effective. If you want to be productive throughout the summer, you need to start small — and either of these methods (or both together) are great places to start.