Firstly, I hope that everyone is keeping safe and well and that you’re all enjoying quality time with your loved ones.
What a weird time that we have found ourselves in. Looking back, I remember thinking how incredible 2020 was going to be, not once thinking that we’d find ourselves in this predicament. However, there have definitely been some major positive highlights amidst the low ones so let’s not lose sight of those memories 💍 🇺🇸. I have to be honest with you, the global pandemic and isolation greatly impacted me at the start. It was hard coming to a complete standstill after the hectic life that I led in Manhattan. However, I am in a much better place now and wanted to share my top 5 tips and tricks on how I stay motivated and increase my productivity and (hopefully you can to) within the four walls of your home.
Reflecting back, the whole reason that I was not productive in the first few weeks of lockdown was purely due to my lack of routine. As a creature of habit, I felt completely at a loss with my senses. I was waking up later than normal to pass a few hours of the day and when I did finally manage to get up, I felt so overwhelmed with the abundance of work that I had to do that I simply just wouldn’t start at all. This was a vicious circle that kept repeating itself just like Groundhog Day. I understand that our routines can no longer be the same and working from home is the new norm. What we can do is change our routines to reflect our new reality.
- Wake up at the same time every morning – bearing in mind that I allow my body time to wake up. Top tip – I like to listen to my morning horoscope as a podcast.
- Eat a healthy breakfast – my current favourite is an acai bowl with homemade granola, chia seeds and soya chocolate chips.
- Watch an episode of Friends while I write my daily to-do list and then tackle my workload. Top tip – start off your morning to-do list with something that you’ve already accomplished. One fave of mine is to tick off making my bed !!
- I always like to stop working before dinner to allow my body to rest and shut off before bed.
What I found really benefited me and provided structure to my days was to print out a monthly calendar from Google. These are easily accessible but extremely useful. My planner is my bible, but I find that when I don’t have set plans it can appear cluttered and this reflects back on my mindset. On the single sheeted planner, I feel I don’t have to worry about keeping it neat and tidy and I can allow all my thoughts to flow on the paper. If it does get a small bit messed up, I can reprint another one with ease.
At the end of every month I like to take a few hours and sit down and look at the month approaching. I mark in key dates and overview the key goals I want to achieve in that month. Sometimes, as the boxes can be quite small, I print out a monthly calendar for each task I have to complete. For example, one for training contract deadlines and one for my website content.
What I did find very overwhelming was the fact that my biggest goals felt unattainable. Every year I set huge goals for myself and never allow myself time to look back on everything that I have already achieved. I am constantly striving to do more and be more. During isolation, I sat down and put all my goals into separate mind-maps. One by one I broke down each big goal into small achievable daily targets. I have six main goals this year but now I can work towards these goals day by day. I feel that I am achieving my daily goals. Not only that but I am starting to see change. The daily targets act as a constant reminder to never lose sight of my dreams and to work hard every single day to better myself. Top tip – break down your big goals into tiny ones.
Find your Happiness
If anything, isolation has taught me the importance of taking things back to basics. Keeping motivated is all about staying in a positive mindset. Whenever my mind felt a bit foggy, under normal circumstances I would go to a coffee shop and catch-up with friends. But this is no longer possible. Instead, I had to strip back the layers of who Evangeline really is and where her happiness lies. Personally, I can say that there are four main components of my happiness – the beach, reading, coffee and my close circle of family and friends (Blue, Polly and Milly included). I am not implying that finding your happiness will be easy. You might come by things that you don’t like about yourself along the way, but it really is imperative. When life does go back to being somewhat normal and we find ourselves thrown into the working loop you will have unknowingly unveiled your coping mechanism. This will significantly reduce the chances of burnout (something us legal professionals know all too well about !!). Top tip – use this time to do something you always wished that you had the time to do.
The ‘Bad day’
Now yes, this is a post centralised about staying motivated and productive but let’s be real. Isolation is hard, challenging and mentally draining. Bad days are inevitable and that is okay. If one day you wake up feeling under the weather, allow your body to feel under the weather and don’t try to mask it by throwing yourself into work. I tried this and let me tell you it DOESN’T work. To put it into perspective, I ended up failing my online exam miserably and being given the nickname ‘Wasp’ by my family lol. If we can support each other through the bad days, then sharing the good days will be twice as beautiful.
If you got this far than I applaud you!!
If you learned anything or have any other tips that might help others please like this post and leave a comment down below.
Until next time,
Stay safe and hug your loved ones that bit tighter.