FOCUS ON THE NEXT BEST THING
Let’s state the obvious from the word go. As much as I may hate it and reluctantly take this advice, taking some time off at the end of a busy period is pretty essential. Just giving yourself a week, or at least a weekend off to relax in front of the TV to calm your brain or to lie your body in a horizontal position, will do you the world of good. Both mentally and physically. Whilst you may remain busy and overtired working over a busy spell, just knowing that you have a trip or a weekend off to look forward to at the very end, is enough to give you some motivation to continue.
There was a spell of 6 weeks recently where I didn’t have one day off and had to apply makeup every single day for 6 weeks, because there was someone to see or something to do. And just knowing that I had a skiing holiday at the end of those weeks was enough to give me a boost to continue onwards. I was tired and therefore lacking in motivation to sit down at my computer to work, but that boost to continue was just what I needed.
ORGANISE EVERYTHING THAT YOU CAN CONTROL
There are some things in your schedule or your work that you cannot control, and they really can be overwhelming. However, feeling like you’re not in control of anything at all is even worse, and so you need to realise that in fact you do have a lot of control over everything else going on in your life.
I would recommend writing down lists of tasks you need to complete and try to stick to finishing them on particular days. The chances are that during your busy work spells, there will be a few hours free in one day or another, where you can work on a few points on your to do list. Whether it’s getting through emails, cleaning your office, finishing off a piece of work or something else. Just getting it off of your mind and out of your to-do pile will most likely help you relax a tad more. I know you may feel tired even thinking about completing these tasks, but focus on the way you will feel when they are ticked off. You have taken control over those tasks and put them to bed.
And furthermore, really try to halt any procrastination. The time we spend scrolling or staring into space can really be put to better use. I know this first hand. Yet, those procrastination moments come from a very tired brain and the procrastination and tiredness sit hand in hand. So I would say if you find yourself daydreaming and putting off starting a task, get up, walk around, grab a coffee or glass of iced water, wake yourself up a little and head back to your to do list and remind yourself of what your priorities are.
BE EMAIL SAVVY
For the majority of people, emails are a huge part of work life. And in most cases, need to be replied to pretty pronto. I’m sure that since their creation in 1972, emails have increased work stress by 1000% (most probably anyway, don’t quote me on this!). We can no longer do our jobs without having hundreds of emails entering our inbox per day, and so replying and sending electronic mail has become a virtual job in itself. And so when it comes to your emails, try to prioritise the important emails from those that really don’t require much thought. Whilst I often try to get back to every email I am sent personally, there are some emails that potentially don’t need a reply or could warrant a generic copy and paste reply. Create a few email templates in a word document and use each one to go through various events/meetings/networking emails. It will speed up your email clear outs considerably. Or, have a sizeable email signature which you can edit and adapt per email. This saves loads of time. Just edit out the paragraphs that aren’t necessary and hey presto. Replied.
I would also try to go through your emails once a day if you can, preferably in the evenings. As the chances are that you won’t receive a reply until the following day, and gives you a little extra time to reply to everyone. Or, on the other hand, if you have the time to check your emails every half an hour, delete and reply swiftly to everything that has recently come in. Just to keep your inbox totally empty if it’s possible. For me, an empty inbox helps me feel the most relaxed. These people with 1000 unopened email notifications on their phone desktop give me the chills. At least mark all as read, please! My heart can’t take it!
EARLY BIRDS REALLY DO CATCH THE WORM
Try to prioritise early mornings over late nights. Whilst some of us are early birds and others are night owls, I honestly feel that waking earlier and getting straight into work in the morning will lead to a far more productive day. Get yourself a coffee, a shower, sit down at your desk and get to work straight off the bat. Then head to sleep at a reasonable hour every evening for essential beauty sleep. Whilst I must admit I am rubbish at this, and never seem to manage it, I have been through years where I did work like this and I can’t tell you how much more productive I was. It would reach 9am after waking at 7am and I will have ticked off a few work tasks already. I’m working on trying this again for the future.
And importantly, those that are usually workaholics may find themselves working super late and therefore struggling to sleep. Going over and over that piece of work in their mind even when their eyes are closed. And it’s not useful for an excellent sleep pattern. Switch off earlier in the evenings and awake earlier in the mornings. Better and more sleep will really help productivity, efficiency and reduce work tiredness overall.
And thus, by sleeping longer and having a fresher mind, your days will become more productive, leading to less stress, less lethargy and and a real sense of motivation.
So whilst we all lead our busy lives, working through the days, events in the evenings, emails piling up whilst we’re away from our desks and fifteen items on our task lists, there are definitely ways we can help ourselves to alleviate some of the stress. This was my last week of Fashion Month in February, hanging out with my L’Oreal Paris family in their cool Parisian apartment, attending fashion shows throughout the afternoon and attending a stunning dinner in the evening. And it was such an amazing way to finish an incredibly successful month. Yes I was a touch stressed with work, with an abundance of blog posts piling up, emails backdated to a week or so previous; but I really didn’t want it to ruin my wonderful experience. And luckily it really didn’t. But there have been times in the past where work has taken over a holiday or work trip and made it more stress than enjoyment; so I wanted to share some tips for overcoming your own work tiredness and lack of motivation. I really hope they helped!
Let me know in the comments, your own tips on how you overcome lack of motivation and feeling too tired to work!