The lazy girl’s guide to a productive day

Some days, getting out of bed feels like accomplishment enough.

Whether it’s been a long week, you’ve pulled an all nighter to meet a deadline, or you just feel lazy, we all have days where productivity seems to be a foreign language we don’t know how to speak.  But busy girls know that time waits for nobody.

Here are my tips on how to have a decently productive day on the days where you truly are the epitome of “the lazy girl”.

1) Plan ahead.

Hit the ground running!  Each morning, I have a pre-written to-do list waiting for me to accomplish.  All I need to do is get up and do them.

I’m a visual person so seeing my tasks (and subsequently seeing those tasks checked off) is a huge motivator for me.  At the beginning of each week, I fill out my agenda with upcoming events, meetings, and other time sensitive to do items (e.g. phone bill payment).  This helps me see what my week looks like and helps me to understand my time usage.

Before I leave the office each night, I make a list of things I’d like to accomplish the following day.  This includes work that I didn’t have time to complete that gets rolled over to the next, meetings I’ve set up with clients, follow up emails I need to send, etc.  I find that preplanning allows me to jump right back into things the next morning instead of catching up to see where I left things off.

The key to planning ahead is to be honest with what you can reasonably accomplish in a day and to hold yourself accountable to actually completing the tasks.

2) Make your bed.

Every morning when I wake up, I make my bed.  It’s a quick task that gets my body moving and gives me the false sense of productivity right off the bat.  It also prevents me from getting back into bed because I’m too lazy to remake it again (ironic isn’t it?).  As an added bonus, at the end of the night, I get to jump into a nicely made bed where the blanket is perfectly balanced on both sides of my body. Double win.

3) Get out early.

I’m a homebody and an introvert.  I love hanging out at home and although I love people, it can be quite overwhelming and tiring at times.  To avoid the “sit around and think about why I don’t want to go somewhere” trap, I try to schedule my commitments early in the morning so that I can get it out of the way and silence the lazy girl voice in my brain.  (Yeah, I was the girl in all the 8:30am classes at uni).

This also applies to days where I work from home.  I still get up relatively early and try to accomplish all my major tasks before noon.  That way, when my lazy girl tendencies become too hard to say no to, at least I’ve already got a morning full of productive output.

4) Create a productive environment.

Identify the key issue (or issues) stopping you from doing work and set up a space that resolves those issues.  If you’re a chatty person, study alone where you won’t have anyone to chat with.  If you’re feeling sleepy, don’t work from your bed or the couch.  If you’re dealing with noise, try noise cancelling headphones and classical/instrumental music.  These solutions take little to no effort but do wonders for productivity.

I’ve also found that having a clean and inviting space is less distracting to my mind.  I like to procrastinate by cleaning and reorganizing.  Knowing this habit of mine, I tackled my space issues in advance of having to actually start studying.  Before my study leave from work started, I did a massive clean up of my home office and even went shopping for a nice new chair to sit in.

5) Suck it up.

Laziness is just the dialogue in your head thinking about what you want to do versus what you have to do.  Instead of thinking, “I don’t want to”, I just tell myself “suck it up, princess”.  The tasks need to be done, there’s no way around that.  So I just give myself a little tough love and call myself out on my laziness.

I’m sure there are a million other ways to get yourself up and at it on lazy days.  What are some of your tricks?

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