When working on a project, everything goes great for the first few days, and then suddenly and without warning, it occurs: procrastination, writer’s block, or a lack of inspiration. Whatever you may call it, the feeling has most likely loomed over you many times throughout your life. It feels as if you had been running at full speed toward a finish line. However, as you swiftly approach, you see that the road to completion has been replaced with a massive, gaping crater and you feel hopeless against making it across. Although it may seem impossible, there are always ways to make it to the finish line of your project. Follow these four tips to conquer an idle mind and become more productive.
View each day as an opportunity, whether it is Monday or Friday. Admit it: you’ve probably suffered from the Mundane Mondays more than once – possibly every week. After having a nice, relaxing weekend, Mondays seem to drag on and becoming productive is nearly impossible when daydreaming about anything but Monday. Additionally, complaining about how terrible Monday is will only serve to make the day even worse. There’s a reason why Tuesday is considered the most productive day of the week. People tend to brush Monday aside as a day when nothing will be completed happily. Then when Tuesday comes around, it becomes time to complete everything that you should have on Monday. The truth is that Monday isn’t some soul-sucking black hole; it’s just a day of the week. Take each day as an opportunity for the success of any project you wish to complete.
Drink a cup of coffee before starting work – seriously. It is immensely helpful to start each morning with a heaping mug full of caffeine. In fact, it is scientifically-proven that caffeine makes you more productive. Here is how it works: your brain has a chemical called “adenosine,” which makes you tired and drives you away from working. When caffeine enters your brain, it blocks the production of adenosine, thus literally thwarting the chemicals that make you tired and idle-minded. So, before anyone judges your need for morning coffee, remember that scientific fact backs your delicious cup of java. Drink away!
If you’ve hit a wall, take a break. When you’re feeling frustrated, set a timer for fifteen minutes. Step away from the situation and relax. Read the news, respond to emails, or brew yourself a cup of coffee (remember, it really does help). Avoid thinking about the project until the fifteen minutes has passed. It is important to note that, similar to a rejuvenating nap versus a whole night of sleep, your break should not be too long. You’re not pushing the project off; you’re simply hitting the “reset” button on your brain to lower your frustration levels.
Boost your confidence so that you want to work again. When you come down with a severe case of writer’s block, you most likely tend to become insecure about the work you’ve already done. One of the most common causes of procrastination is a lack of confidence. If you feel as if the work you’ve done is subpar and you don’t think you can work any more efficiently, you’ll lose the motivation to keep working. For each person, a confidence boost can come from various sources. Whether you enjoy watching motivational speakers or giving yourself a quick pep talk, find a boost that works for you.
Follow these four tips and remember that you will find a way to become productive enough to finish the project. Eventually you’ll look back on your writer’s block as if it never happened. Although it may not seem like it, there is a reason why you signed up for the project in the first place, as you most likely have a passion for the topic hidden somewhere. Find that passion, nurture it, and watch it bloom into pure productivity that motivates you to continue working.