Now, don’t get me wrong, I am one to procrastinate multiple times a day which ultimately allows my motivation to slip slowly down the drain until I end up feeling sorry for myself because my work-load has begun to loom over my head like a dreaded rain cloud. However, very recently I have been working hard on my mindset and the way in which I assess the current situation I’m in and I hope to pass on some of my methods to you.
In these uncertain times, the pressure we put on ourselves to accomplish something great or start something brand new during this third lockdown period is not only highly stressful but it can actually steer your mind in the opposite direction of productivity, not only for us adults but for the children as well. They will, undoubtedly, be feeling the same pressures with their school work and learning expectations at home. Of course, the material provided online by schools is extremely beneficial but having the motivation, without a structured school environment and highly experienced teachers surrounding them, can prove difficult. Additionally, School of Play’s breakfast clubs and after school clubs would normally assist the children with any homework or school work queries and for some children, this wraparound care is not an option at the moment.
That is why in this blog, I will be providing you and your children with some useful tip to combat self-motivation and procrastination that have been inspired by quotes from the ‘selfcare4yu’ Instagram page. They have helped me during all three lockdowns and I will continue to implement these strategies into my daily life now and in the future.
- “Avoiding a task takes as much mental energy as doing it”
This, for me, speaks volumes and I could not agree more with this statement. When I have a work deadline, a project, a test, or a workout that I need to complete, I know that putting it off will begin a series of spiralling thoughts that lead to feelings of stress, anxiety and sometimes nerves, more feelings and energy than actually completing the task would accumulate in the first place.
Therefore, when I receive a task now, I know that starting on it as soon as possible is key to avoiding all the negative energy that surrounds the procrastination period. We all know the relief and joy that comes from ticking off that ‘to do’ list or completing a challenging task that needed to be done. Positive vibes all around.
- “Deciding to do something for just five minutes makes you more likely to continue doing it”
There have been many times, especially in school, where I remember only dread when it came to completing a homework task. In my mind, I was not ready to take it on and so I would just look at the sheet and say “I’ll just do the first three questions and at least it will have looked like I tried”. I think we’re all guilty of it (well I hope so, or it’s just me cheating the system). But once I got the three questions out of the way, I thought three more won’t hurt and then I thought “well, I’ve started it now, I might as well finish it”. And before I knew it, I had fully completed my homework task.
Just having the task in front of you, whether that be on a laptop, a book or on a sheet of paper and trying your best to complete at least the first section or even the first sentence will most likely lead to further progression and productivity. No pressure, just a little motivation.
- “Sometimes when we take a break, we may find that solutions then present themselves”
I think, perhaps, that this one is my favourite tip out of them all. Give yourself a break! Literally. Just don’t be too hard on yourself. Many times my eyes have gone square from looking at my screen for way too long, my thoughts become jumbled and unclear and my motivation to carry on with my project deteriorates because I am tired, overstimulated and mentally worn out. However much you want to get a task done, take your time because your brain needs to re-focus, breathe and relax in order to think clearly and produce excellent work. Perhaps take a short walk. There are so many beautiful walks around Urmston, Manchester, take advantage of the fresh air and reset your mind.
As well as giving yourself short breaks between work, reward yourself also. For every section of work you complete, celebrate with some chocolate, or 30 minutes to read your favourite book or a lie down (my personal favourite). These small rewards not only help with keeping the motivation going for your next little break but also clear the mind to help you focus more and perhaps make space for even better ideas and methods of working and learning.
- “Always think of the outcome”
The outcome is like the treasure at the end of the rainbow. That leprechaun is one lucky creature to be there, ready and waiting for the pot of gold. In fact, I like to think of how a rainbow is created. It takes a lot of rain and a lot of sun that collide to create something beautiful. Just like completing a challenging task; there will be some negatives that come across your path, for example, procrastination, stress and frustration and then there will be some positives, for example, completing a section of work, enjoying the process and the little chocolate breaks you every so kindly rewarded yourself with. Whatever the task, in the end, all these components are absolutely necessary for creating a beautiful rainbow of completed, high-quality work.
Though passion and desire to succeed is a great personal motivator for me, another factor that drives my motivation is always the satisfying feeling of completing a task or goal to a high standard. The positive energy that comes with motivation and productivity is priceless and I really hope that it does for you too!
Thanks for reading and I hope this helps!