Thanks to the new Twitter Tracking, I came across a great blog called Sufficient Thrust that discusses various “life hacking” techniques. As somebody that’s always on the go but gets motivated at odd hours, the post about why I shouldn’t wake up early tomorrow peaked my interest. I frequently get motivated right around 11pm and keep kicking until 3am easily, so getting up early puts a pretty large shadow over my day.
Unfortunately, we do live in a 9-5 world and I often have clients where I need to be productive between those hours. So here are a few tips for forcing yourself to get work done. Note that everybody has different drivers, but these help me get through the day.
Don’t waste time There’s all manner of things to distract you and when you’re not in the flow, you’ll take every opportunity to procrastinate. Try to ignore those distractions and focus on what you need to get done. If you don’t, you’ll find that 3 hours have passed and you haven’t accomplished a damn thing. Unfortunately, this post is a direct result of that procrastination…
Get yourself in the groove I find that house music gets me in a very good groove. So when I need to be productive, I put on some giant headphones, crank the volume, and let the beat guide me to getting things done. There’s a podcast called Techtronic Sound that’s pretty good for this, but unfortunately there hasn’t been a new one in two months. Good tunes don’t always work, but it definitely helps drown out the other distractions in the office so I can focus on my work.
A little kick in the pants never hurt I don’t like to do it, but a little caffeine can definitely help get you fired up when you have absolutely no desire whatsoever to be so. Mountain Dew and Caramel Macchiato’s are my poison of choice, but every once in a while I’ll put down a Rockstar.
Switch things up Move to a different desk. Start writing notes using pen and paper. Go work in the Starbucks across the street. Anything to change up your routine to give you a little spark.
Be mean to people People will try to disturb you. We can’t help it, we’re social creatures. But sometimes when you’re trying to get in the flow, you need to ignore, fend off, or otherwise try to prevent them from infringing on your flowness.
Set small, reachable goals and reward yourself Give yourself small, easily attainable goals. Think increments of 1 hour. It’s good to get up and stretch anyway. Set a goal and a reward. For example: I can go get myself a coffee when I’m done writing these next 10 slides.
Although definitely not foolproof, these are the things I try to do when I need to get in the flow.
Next article of Marina’s that you should read - The Secret to a Successful All-nighter