Say Productive again…. I dare you. I double dare you…

The traditional view of productivity that has been pounded into your head is so wrong.

You’re almost never “traditionally” productive. So stop freaking out. Honestly it sucks seeing how stressed people get about their work, even when they love it. Your real productivity will never be quantifiable in the “output over hours worked” model that businesses use. That has nothing to do with personal productivity! There is so much more to you being productive that whatever tangible output you accomplished today.

Do you find yourself dismayed when you have an idea, but can’t seem to put extra structure to it upon reflection? It’s a relatable feeling. We all want to see our ideas come to fruition, and are almost always willing to put in extra work. But even if you can’t… why are you upset? You had an IDEA! Do you understand how fucking cool that is? That’s abstract thought. That’s peak terrestrial consciousness. You came up with an electrical impulse that fucking meant something? WHAT? Just now thinking about how cool thoughts are my mind is being blown, and at one point you came up with one that had NEVER been thought before? You quite literally, momentarily, rival Einstein at that time. I want to be a writer, a philosopher, a marketer, a politician, a diplomat, an actor, a musician, and a whole host of other things. You want to know how many ideas I have a day? Like, good, content driving, possibly inspirational ideas? Two on a good day. And most of the time they are: what if I gave this character the ability to time travel, or should I write a blog about having ideas, or hot damn what if I put feta cheese on this pizza? Every once in awhile I hit gold though: one time I thought a short story about a species with four arms would be cool. Now I am working on creating a fictional Universe about an Earth-Like planet and a bunch of other weird stuff. That is how ideas work! Write them down! Think about them more than once! It really doesn’t matter at all if you can further anything about it right now, that idea was the most integral part of your soon to be creative process!

Want to really, really know why you’re almost never “traditionally” productive? You’re a living being! I don’t mean you engage in destructive habits to avoid productivity, you just have to spend most of your productivity being a person! Eating, sleeping, loving, showing, hiding, pooping, crying, aging, growing, eating again, you’re most important productive times occur when they are strictly for you. Without that, the rest of the shit doesn’t matter!

I do have some advice in terms of being productive, because I’m sure you didn’t click this to hear some hippie tell you that work isn’t the most important thing in life. I am and it’s not, but that’s not my point here. If you want some tangible advice, I have a few quick tips for you:

1. Eat slightly more than enough food on a day you hope to be productive. Just do it.

2. Find a flow process. There are an infinite number of structures out there, but only a few will work, but one will work wonders. How do you find it? Trial and error. Then perfect it. You will know once you’ve found it because holy shit all of a sudden you produced so much stuff and didn’t realize it was happening, how did you do that? Because you found out how you work, silly.

3. It’s impossible to be productive when your emotions aren’t playing the same game as you. Have a nice long talk with them. Go to a movie together. Eat some chocolate. It’s not about being happy, or content, it’s about being able to let yourself create or do.

4. Procrastinate. This might not make a lot of sense, but have you ever noticed you can, for some reason, write a seven page paper in an hour if its due the next day? That’s still productivity! I’m not saying you should procrastinate everything. In fact, it’s still best if you don’t. But it happens sometimes! So utilize that panic mode to get shit done!

5. Write so much down. Even one phrase notes about stupid ideas you had. They might be usable at some point.

6. Don’t listen to me. Like I said, I had an idea and rolled with it. It seems right to me, and damn I seem witty in this blog, but we are all different. I have no clue how you work, and for all you know I’m crazy.

There you have it. You’re doing fine. If you are feeling anxiety set in because things aren’t progressing as you saw them in your head, try to breathe, because you seriously crush it 24/7. 90% of your life grade comes from eating healthy and sleeping. I personally am proud of myself every time I cook breakfast. Because I know for a year it was coffee and cigarettes. Guess who got nothing done back then? *Points thumbs at self* this guy.

Stephen is a student at the University of Montana. He can’t come to the phone right now, please leave a message after the *beep*.

Mondays (Don’t Have to) Suck

 

Published by: Aaron Kell

Written by: Meghan Wagner

  • Jam it Out!!

 

Start by having a solid go-to playlist, or a few.  Think about classic (to you) songs, or just songs that make you feel good.  For me that would be 90’s Jams, showcasing the likes of Beck, Third Eye Blind, Oasis and such.  It’s possible you would benefit from a pre-made workout playlist on Spotify.  If Hip-Hop is your thing, make a list of the best.  Just knowing you don’t have to try (or think) that hard to get some good tunes flowing is gonna pick you up just that much faster.

To see what YouTube recommends on Mondays, check here:

 

  • Dress for Success

 

Go to bed on Sunday night with an idea of what you’ll want to wear tomorrow.  Take into account the day’s tasks: a regular work day, group presentation, running a boat load of errands, etc. Figure out not only how functional you need your outfit to be, but also how comfortable you want to be.  Our desires for these ideas change from week to week based on what our priorities and short-term goals are, which is part of what makes picking out your outfit fun.  I totally commend yoga pants on a Monday, but consider pairing them with a cute, cozy top instead of the first thing you find on your floor, which you’ll end up having to turn inside-out in the bathroom because a rando discovered last Friday’s pizza stain and thought he was being kind by pointing it out to you (this is me commiserating with you, not judging you).  If picking out your outfit the night before is not your thing, just think about what kind of style you’ll be in the mood for. Just by having an idea of what direction you want to take your own wardrobe before you even get there is going to help make the process simpler and smoother.  I’m not saying this will make deciding what to wear simple and smooth, but simpler and smoother.

 

  • Find joy in the little things

 

Take your time to pack a healthy but satisfying lunch or really yummy snacks.  Walk to campus  and with this new chunk of time and pick up a piping cup of Oolong to switch it up.  Take your chance to review Tumblr and Pinterest without the guilt of not responding to that (kinda?) important email or you know, doing homework.  This time can be perfect for carrying-out mundane, somewhat mindless tasks that should get done.  Monday mornings can actually serve the purpose of being productive, and setting a high, yet attainable standard to set a good pace of productivity for your week.

For some delectable suggestions, check here:

21 Clean Lunches in Under 10 Minutes

21-Clean-Lunches-That-Can-Be-Prepared-In-Under-10-Minutes

20 Healthy On-the-Go Snacks

{20 Healthy On-the-Go Snacks} *Perfect for running between after school activities #BuddyFruitsB2S

 

  • Wake up a ½ hour earlier than necessary

 

Hey, hear me out here, I’m not excited about this one either.  Part of what makes Mondays so perpetually unpleasant is the morning rush.  If you have a regular 9-5 job, or are a student attending traditional classes, by the time Monday morning rolls around you are out of your routine.  Between battling the great debates of getting up and putting at least some effort into your appearance or clutching even tighter to those fleeting, precious moments of sleep, before frantically looking for something resembling breakfast food (or just something edible if it’s “one of those Mondays”) or just not eating because you’re whipping around like The Flash and ain’t nobody got time for breakfast (unless it’s brunch-which it’s not, because it’s fucking Monday) Mondays are just going to make you feel rushed.  By waking up just half an hour earlier than you need to to fulfill your morning routine you are giving yourself the gifts of time and sanity.  You could sleep for an extra 15-30 minutes (which yes you would be doing anyway, but in the moment it feels like finding that last present hidden behind the tree) or you could actually use the time.   Allow yourself to spend extra time in the shower, or have a bath if that’s what you prefer.  Watch an episode of Friends while putting on your make-up or eating breakfast (I recommend “The One with the Embryos” if you’re in need of a suggestion).  Stop denying your inner child and actually make yourself a smiley face pancake.  Just do something easy that you love, that sounds good in the moment.  The only limitation is this treat can’t have a great potential of totally derailing your whole routine, like watching Games of Thrones in bed.  Sorry folks, I wish that last one really would help me get ready in the morning…