As a freelance writer, I spend the vast majority of my days sitting in front of the computer. It's safe to say that the fact I'm connected to the Internet for most of working life means I'm susceptible to a range of distractions and productivity-killers.
Regardless of what job you have in the IT sector, the fact you're reading this probably means that you feel the same. If you've ever been sat down at your desk with a to-do list the size of your arm but failed to draw on any kind of inspiration or motivation to get them done, then this is for you.
However, it doesn't have to be this way. To help you out and to help you learn how to exercise your 'motivation muscle', here's a complete guide teaching you everything that I've learned over the years in order to help you get things done and those productivity levels to spike.
Master the art of goal setting
Let's say you want to run a marathon. Do you jump straight in, sign up on the day and run it? Of course not, you take it one step at a time. Start by setting small goals like a 5K first and then work your way up. Now you can apply this logic to every aspect of your life.
Start by setting small, manageable goals. Another example is if you want to eat a healthy diet. Instead of saying "I'm going to eat healthier this month" try bringing that all the way down to just one day, even hour by hour if you find it easier.
Related read: How to Help Your Development Team Meet the Deadline
Creating positive mantras
If you've never heard of a mantra before, in short, it's something you mentally or verbally repeat to yourself, similar to an affirmation. Typically, mantras are used in yoga or meditation to help the mind stay focused during the practice, but there's no reason why you can't bring them into your everyday life.
A mantra is basically a phrase or term you use to bring your mind into a positive mindset. For example, if you're trying to quit smoking, repeating time and time again that "You don't like cigarettes" will reinforce that fact in your mind over time.
You can do the same with your productivity. Try spending some time coming up with short and memorable phrases that you can repeat to yourself through the day. One of my friends even got the word 'now' tattooed on their finger to remind her to keep present whenever it caught her eye.
Share your journey
When you're fighting the war of trying to improve your productivity and motivation, it's easy to fail when you're alone since no-one is there to see it. I've always found that we're very easy to let ourselves 'bum out' when we're alone, and that gives way to procrastination.
"When I decided that I want to become more motivated at work, one of the best decisions I made was telling everybody about it. I let all my friends and family know, I put a post on Facebook and got my colleagues at work to point out when I was slacking off. In short, I couldn't have done it without them," shares Christina Brewer, an HR Manager working at Assignment Help.
Develop a routine
What's your normal office routine when you get to work? Do you get to your desk, sit on your phone for a bit, reply to a few emails and carry on with your latest project and then spend the rest of the day switching between these activities?
By developing a set routine in your day, you can master the art of productivity, and you'll instantly realise how much more motivated this makes you at work. Of course, everybody is different and has different days, but getting to work and checking emails like the first thing you do is a good start.
Then put the phone away (out of sight, out of mind) and crack on with work. When it gets to lunchtime, have the same break duration every day, play on your phone and chat with your colleagues, before continuing work for the rest of the day.
Apply this logic to your whole life, especially when it comes to eating habits and sleeping patterns, and you'll notice how much more motivated and inspired you are in everyday life.
Finally, to conclude my list of ways to bring unfathomable amounts of inspiration and motivation to your life is to stay present throughout the day. It's only when you pay attention to your mind that you realise how separated we actually are day to day, hour to hour.
How often do you catch yourself thinking about what happened in the past, or what's going to happen in the future? Of course, one of the best ways to bring your mind into the present moment is through regular practising of meditation, but simply putting post-it notes around your desk, or investing reminders, such as a notification on your phone, can do wonders for your mindset.
This is a guest post by Jennifer Scott. Jennifer works as online editor at Best British Essays. Also, she is a business developer that works in different areas of education, technology, security and various types of online marketing. Prior to business developing Jennifer was consultant at Deloitte, and managed security services provider and developer of a wide range of security solutions.