How to get moving when you're stuck in a productivity rut

How toget moving when you're stuck in a productivity rut

The best thing about being a solopreneur who works from home is LITERALLY EVERYTHING. Make your own hours! Work in your own comfortable, lovely office! Write your own paycheck and choose your own clients! Do what you love!

The worst thing about being a solopreneur who works from home is is that sometimes you find yourself so overwhelmed that you're sitting at your desk at 10am on a Tuesday eating a block of cheese with your bare hands and rewatching The Office on Netflix instead of, you know, working.

You've heard of decision paralysis, right? That's when you're faced with so many options that you get overwhelmed and choose nothing.

It's not so serious when you're trying to pick out a pair of shoes, but when you're talking about actual work and what to tackle first, decision paralysis is a huge productivity problem!

So when this happens to me, which it does with embarrassing regularity, I have a process in place to right the ship and get back to work.

My 'get the eff back to work' productivity process.

 

  1. Choose a work task that needs to get done. It doesn't matter if it's the most important or the most urgent. Just open your list of tasks in Asana or Trello or Todoist or wherever you keep it and pick a thing, any thing. Don't touch it yet.

  2. Get up and walk away from your desk. 

  3. Choose one or two of the tasks below and do them immediately, as quickly and efficiently as possible. Each one should take no more that 5 minutes, so don't let it turn into more than that:

    • Grab a laundry basket. Sweep everything that doesn't belong in the room into the basket and return it to where it belongs.

    • Open up your closet. Sort everything into groups: tanks, short-sleeved shirts, long-sleeved shirts, jackets, pants, skirts. Put all empty hangers in one place.

    • Do a cursory cleaning of your refrigerator. Throw out anything funky, combine duplicate items and put things on appropriate shelves.

    • Clean out your social networking or email contacts. If you’re keeping people around that you don’t actually know or like, give ‘em the boot.

    • Gather up all the receipts and papers you’ve been meaning to shred and do it.

    • Renew those things that need to be renewed, like your driver’s license or registration. Come on. You can do it on the internet.

    • Collect all of the things that need to be returned to the store or taken to Goodwill and put them in your car. In the front seat.

    • Walk through the house and pick up any laundry, dishes or trash and deposit those things in the appropriate places.

    • Go through your medicine cabinet, vanity or pantry and pitch anything that is dried up, expired, the wrong color, ugly, gross or any other adjective that renders it undesirable.

    • Open up one (seriously, don't get carried away) kitchen cabinet or dresser drawer, take everything out, wipe it clean, and then put everything back neatly.

  4. Now, go sit back down at your desk and start doing the work thing that you chose in step one, right away.

 

You've probably noticed that productivity comes in bursts. If you're unmotivated, it's really hard to get started. But once you really get rolling, sometimes it's hard to even stop. You're in the zone.

Your motivated brain doesn't differentiate between work tasks and home tasks. 

By focusing on accomplishing just ONE thing (even if it's not a work thing) you can flip that switch that lets your brain know it's time to do all the things choo choo get on this train mf'ers.

Give it a try and let me know how it works for you.

And if your To-Do List is so out of control that you can't even look at it? Here's what you can do about that.

Do you have any "quick win" things you do to get motivated when you're in a productivity rut?