Getting behind sucks. So I do a few things to hop back into the productivity lane. At least in theory. So I figured I'd share what works for me when I'm losing my marbles with all the crap that needs done.
I clean my kitchen. Don't laugh. This has come up in my blog before, and there's a good reason for it. Most people I know spend a huge chunk of their time in the kitchen. Even at gatherings, the kitchen seems to be where everyone congregates. When your kitchen is messy, you can't just close a door and ignore it. It weighs on your mind, or at least it weighs on mine. So when I'm feeling like I suck, or I can't keep up with anything, I start with my kitchen. I clean the counters off, run the dishwasher, and pre-wash any dishes I can't fit in there, so I know as soon as the first load is done, I can toss the next round inside. Then I clean up around my coffee maker (cause, duh, I need that), wipe down the fridge doors and table, and call it done. I avoid the floors if I don't feel crumbs under my feet. The whole process takes less than thirty minutes on a bad day, and every time I walk through my kitchen, I know I've got at least some of my shit together.
I turn off notifications and close tabs. The vast majority of my work is online. I handle all of the finances for my home, I write on a computer, and my entertainment is on a computer. But I can't even watch a YouTube Video without something dinging or getting a blinking message on the tab. So if I'm struggling, I shut it all down. There was a time when cell phones didn't exist, and we didn't have internet. So the world will not end if I don't pop on Twitter for a half an hour.
I set a timer. This one is a biggie. Giving your brain the ability to only think about one thing at a time is hard to do. At least for me. So starting out with ten or fifteen minute segments on a timer is FANTASTIC. I know, that my alarm will go off and I can check obsessively all the things that went down while I was productive. Or my mother will call five minutes in, as she tends to do, but afterwards, I reset it, and have bonus productivity.
I play with my planner. I go round and round on what type of planning system I use, and change at least once during the year. My main addiction right now is my Happy Planner. Disc bound planning has been a great way to change up what I have in my planner when I realize something isn't working for me.
I've also started using the punch and spare "Big" planner supplies for plotting and brainstorming projects since I can use the punch to put standard 8.5x11 sheets of paper inside. Basically, I throw all the things I need to do in a notebook format, and it seems a lot less daunting. Of course I still have to put due dates, and plans inside my monthly planner, but I get out a few books of stickers and make it pretty. The main change I made with planning this year is, I only write things I am absolutely going to do that day. When I get overwhelmed with tasks, I stop doing any of them. So if it goes in my planner, I've looked at my available time for the day, and I know exactly when I'm getting it done.
I take an online class. Now this might seem counterproductive and could be for some people. But for me, when I have something with an external deadline, it forces me to get more done. Don't know why. It works for me. Right now I'm taking a tarot class. I've got the days written in my planner, and it makes me get my shit done, because I've made a commitment to do this.
What do you do when your brain starts going on vacation without you? How do you get yourself motivated and moving forward again? I'd love to hear about it. I'll even put the notes in my Happy Planner.