13 Ways To Trick Yourself Into Being Productive, Even Though You'd Rather Binge Netflix And Nap
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13 Ways To Trick Yourself Into Being Productive, Even Though You'd Rather Binge Netflix And Nap

Even the laziest among us can find ways to achieve more in their daily lives.

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13 Ways To Trick Yourself Into Being Productive, Even Though You'd Rather Binge Netflix And Nap
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I am definitely not a naturally productive person.

My ideas of productivity don't really match up with the general population's. One could even say I'm naturally inclined toward laziness. I don't really believe in "the hustle," and I don't mind admitting that I'd rather participate in leisurely activities that I enjoy, like reading or sleeping, rather than cleaning my apartment, meal-prepping work lunches or writing my novel-in-progress.

Not to say I don't do these things, but it definitely takes some moaning and groaning on my part.

While some of us love to embrace our lazier pastimes, sometimes we wish we were the type of people who can jump out of bed at 6 A.M. ready to take on the day. Admittedly, it would be beneficial for all of us to be able to cross some things off of our ever-growing to-do lists.

So in order to appease those like me who would like to feel a bit more productive during their free time but are naturally just not a fan of the "grind" mindset, here are some simple steps you could take to trick yourself into actually accomplishing things, and will help you to slowly become better at crossing things off your to-do lists and feel like a (somewhat) productive human.

1. Create a morning ritual.

We've all heard from our moms or caretakers that we should make our beds every morning, but it turns out that making your bed can positively impact the rest of your day and increases productivity. However, don't stop there!

Forging a ritual to complete each morning can make you feel productive before your day even begins. Brushing your teeth, washing your face and making your bed might all seem like menial tasks but they are all necessary to physically and mentally refreshed to take on whatever the upcoming day will bring.

2. Do NOT scroll through social media when you first wake up.

I am so guilty of this, and I wish I wasn't. It's extremely easy for me to wake up in the morning, grab my phone and scroll through Twitter and Instagram for at least thirty minutes to an hour.

When I do this I find myself much more reluctant to physically get out of bed and therefore I unintentionally delay the start of my day. Not only is scrolling through your phone for an hour or so a huge waste of valuable morning time before work or school (and is another hour you could spend sleeping), but it's not particularly productive to stare at pictures of food or Instagram models first thing in the morning.

3. Similarly, don't scroll through social media before bed.

The reasons above also apply here. Why spend an hour before bed endlessly scrolling when you could be relaxing and preparing your mind and body for rest? Not to mention that staring at a screen shortly before sleeping can be severely detrimental to your health and sleep habits since it suppresses melatonin levels.

Instead, take this time to read or listen to relaxing music.

4. Change out of your pajamas, even if you're not leaving the house.

To me, this is an extreme life hack. Even if I have absolutely no plans for the day, I have found it extremely beneficial to my productivity to put on an actual outfit.

Whether you opt for simple leggings and a comfy top or a full-on trendy outfit, changing out of your pajamas tells your mind that you are transitioning from a period of rest to a period of activity. Also, wearing fresh and clean clothes can feel extremely refreshing and encourage you to make an unplanned trip outdoors.

5. Find a form of "easy" daily exercise.

It's pretty much universally acknowledged that exercising increases productivity. It improves sleep, reduces stress and fosters creativity in the brain. However, those of us with lazier tendencies find it super hard to commit to a gym routine.

Instead of trekking to the gym, I've found it much more manageable (and fun) to perform at least one easily accessible exercise each day, such as going for a brisk walk outside or practicing yoga in my living room. Not feeling obligated to drive to the gym and find a parking spot makes the idea of daily exercise much more realistic and manageable.

6. Participate in a monthly challenge.

Pledging to a challenge such as a 90-day yoga challenge or NaNoWriMo can give provide you with a lot of motivation to work toward your goals each day for a set period of time.

Monthly challenges also allow you to compete with your fellow peers and encourage you to achieve more in order to "win" or complete the challenge.

7. Don't take the easy way out.

When you start taking little shortcuts here and there, you find it easier to make excuses and take the easier path in other areas of life.

When buying groceries try to only buy food you know you have to prepare, rather than buying microwavable or frozen dinners. You could also make an effort to fold your laundry after washing it instead of just stuffing your dresser drawers to the brim.

These things might seem insignificant, but doing them can make you feel a lot more productive in completing simple daily tasks. Plus, avoiding these small but lazy tendencies will make you put in the extra effort into the small things, and this will help motivate you to put more effort into the bigger things.

8. Make plans to be productive with friends.

Planning a day once or twice per week to work, study or exercise with friends gives you one very valuable thing: accountability.

If you're thinking of bailing on these plans because of pure laziness, your friends are there to encourage you to stick to it. Furthermore, if you actually do break these plans then your friends will be able to call you out on it. And no one wants to be the one to flake out.

9. Have a clear, visual idea of what you want to achieve.

Sometimes, us unproductive just don't know where to start when pledging to make the most of our time.

Making a vision board or even a simple bullet list outlining specific goals, both short-term and long-term, can be very helpful in deciding what steps you must take in order to be productive in achieving them. These goals can range from getting an A in a specific class to publishing your first novel.

Whether they are small or big, knowing what you want to achieve is essential in your quest to become more productive.

10. Give yourself a bedtime.

Although your love of sleep is probably the reason for your lazy inclinations in the first place, this is key to ensuring you are well-rested enough to achieve your goals.

Giving yourself a set bedtime each night will help in avoiding naps during the day as long as you're getting at least seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Bedtimes can also provide a stricter routine and give you an idea of how many active hours you have in a single day.

Furthermore, having a regular sleep regime can regulate our bodies' circadian rhythm. This rhythm helps in regulating melatonin, which helps us to fall asleep and stay asleep.

11. Acknowledge your progress (and your setbacks).

Acknowledging your increase in productivity can be very rewarding and motivating. Getting stuff done and checking off an item or two on your to-do list feels empowering and inspires you to keep going.

Although it might seem contradictory, it is also beneficial for you to acknowledge the days you don't get a lot of things done. Recognizing your failures can help you determine what behaviors hindered you from being productive and take steps to avoid these behaviors in the future.

12. Incorporate your leisure activities into your tasks.

Since many of us would much rather read a book or watch television than do laundry or vacuum, there are definitely ways we can incorporate these pleasurable activities into the boring ones.

Listening to an audiobook while folding laundry or watching your favorite Netflix series on your phone while doing a workout are great ways to be productive while consuming entertainment you enjoy.

13. Reward yourself with things you enjoy.

Perhaps most importantly, you should reward yourself for being productive. These rewards should be activities you truly enjoy.

For example, aim to complete a set number of tasks per day. When these are completed, reward yourself with an hour or two of "Gilmore Girls" or scrolling through Twitter or Instagram.

Life is all about balance. You should allow yourself to have leisure time in order to refuel. Ultimately, this will help you commit to your goals.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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