Struggling with motivation this lockdown? Me too.
Being in lockdown in the run up to the festive period is not the one.
No matter where you are, be this at home with your family, at Uni, with your partner or on your own, it is a strange period to be going through. At this time of year, I am usually visiting friends, going late night shopping and just getting into the Christmas spirit (Yes, I know it’s still November…), but this year I’m struggling to even make my bed in a morning.
My motivation is at an all time low at the minute. Motivation to do work, motivation to study, or even motivation to do things for myself such as skincare and planning Christmas presents. I personally feel like the near future is very much up in the air and we don’t really know what we are/aren’t going to be able to do come Christmas. This lack of knowing and inability to plan leaves me with 0 motivation to do, well, anything.
It’s a vicious cycle. I know full well that getting up, going on a run, sitting at my laptop, working and doing some Christmas planning on an evening will make me feel better, but quite frankly I can’t be bothered to even try. I would much rather curl up under my duvet and binge watch Phineas and Ferb (a truly iconic throwback).
This has been going on for a couple of weeks now since the new restrictions were announced and I’ve felt myself get into this slump. I’ve given myself a bit of time to do the bare minimum and I’ve laid in bed for as long as I physically can. Now I’ve figured it’s about time I at least make a slight effort to regain some of my usual November joy.
Below, I have listed some of the things I do to try and battle this complete lack of motivation I currently have. In all honesty, these don’t always work. Some days one will work better than others and some days nothing will work at all and I will just give in to my lazy day and that is absolutely fine.
We are literally going through a pandemic right now. If you are out there just surviving you’re winning, so please do not beat yourself up about ANYTHING. I hope some of these tips help you, but equally don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
You don’t need to start the new year a changed person, just starting it is good enough.
1 – Put everything on your to do list, I mean everything. I will literally write ‘wake up’, ‘make cup of tea’ and ‘message Larry’ on there, purely so I have definite things that I can tick off. Starting your day by being able to tick off a few things really helps me feel like I’ve started on a good note.
2 – Break your to do list down into 5-minute jobs, 10-minute jobs and big jobs. Sometimes when you’ve written everything down it can feel super intimidating. I am the worst at writing everything I need to do over the next month on one list, looking at it, feeling hopeless and then giving up. I find breaking it down into these sections allows me to choose how productive I’m going to be. Some days I will aim for two 5-minute jobs, one 10-minute and one big one, other days getting through one 5-minute job is enough. A tick is still a tick and it is one less thing than you had to do yesterday.
3 – Be realistic. If you’re going through a slump right now on your first day trying to be more productive you’re more than likely not going to complete a full essay. I start by putting 80% of things on my to do list that are for me, such as message a friend, make a coffee, tidy one shelf of your wardrobe etc. I will then put 20% work stuff, such as read one chapter, annotate one poem etc. This way I ease myself back into productivity. As the days go on I increase this balance until it is 50/50, never any more than that – work life balance is key!
4 – Finally, do not base your success off how many things you tick off, nor of how well you do on a piece of work, or a job or a task etc. Success is based off how happy you are, how much you are looking after yourself and the fact you’re surviving. We are going through a global pandemic and yes it may seem on social media some people are thriving but trust me, the vast majority of us are struggling. I know it is hard not to stress about finding a grad job, moving house, going into school everyday or whatever it may be because yes, those usual stresses are tripled at this moment in time, but instead of looking back over your day and thinking ‘I’ve only got one thing done’ think ‘I am still here, I am alive and I am safe’.
As cheesy as it sounds, we are making history right now and the fact that you are alive to be telling the story, be that with or without five new business ventures and a brand new six-pack, is amazing.
Motivation will come and go and you will get it back, I promise.
If anyone has any more tips on boosting their motivation during lockdown please do share them!
Stay safe everybody, lots and lots of love.