Starting the process of productivity can be difficult. This is how I sometimes get my own attention:
*stands in front of the mirror*
Brain: Ha! You will soon reduce from a bottom size 10 to a size 8. ☹️
Me: What! 😰 No!
Brain: 😂😂😂😂 Go to the kitchen.
Me: 😫😩 Yes, ma.
*scrambles around for what to eat*
Brain: Oya, go to your to-do list.
Me: *opens Wunderlist*
Brain: What do you do with your time? 🙄
Brain: 😪 Which one are we starting with?
Me: 😫 Everything.
Brain: God, we need help. 😪
😓 I’m still shaking my head. 😩 We all battle with productivity, but the sad truth is that, no one else has the job description of pushing or motivating you. You have to DIY. Sometimes, I wish I could put my brain in a jar, like Hector Con Carne in the cartoon, Evil Con Carne. 😩 At least, it would have a voice to draw me back to the reality of what I need to be doing, every time I get carried away. Oh, BTW, my brain is not evil. 😬
I hate mornings. I hate them almost as much as I hate being woken up. I have an implicit rule: Do not wake me up before 10:00, unless it’s an emergency! But, of course, no one in my house believes that the rule even exists.
Actually, I’m normally the hyper-productive, workaholic person at work, whom everyone loathes because she doesn’t know how to take a (public 👀) break. 🙄 I just love to go until there’s no more energy to expend. Oh, and I’m a constant ball of adrenaline. 😂 So… yeah. 😄 But, guess what? I’m not a morning person. At all. Nah ah. I hate mornings. I hate them almost as much as I hate being woken up. I have an implicit rule: Do not wake me up before 10:00, unless it’s an emergency! But, of course, no one in my house believes that the rule even exists. 😐 I get people barging in, switching on the lights (my room is normally in perpetual darkness 😂 or dimly lit) and the most annoying of them all, walking out without shutting the door. 😑 Way to start my morning for me.
Anyhoo, back to the topic. I don’t know how I did it in uni, waking up lots of very early mornings, to go and do my student ambassador job, either on campus or in another town. Oh, I know! The money. That was the best paying student job in all of the university. 😂 That was my incentive every one of those mornings. The rent for my enviable apartment wasn’t being paid for by a sugar daddy, after all. Oh, and I looked fly every time I wore my University of Kent Student Ambassador lanyard. I’d wear it right from my house, or on the bus, so that the others could see me putting it on. 😂
So, every morning, I sucked it up — after the eight alarm — and stood up, attempted to fall asleep in the shower and then, blasted hourlong Afrobeats, Yinka Ayefele or RCCG’s Bukola Bekes’ marathon songs, because those get me dancing.
My point is, I had a disciplined routine, because I knew that my work ethics are too strong for them to become subject to my hatred for mornings. So, every morning, I sucked it up — after the eight alarm — and stood up, attempted to fall sleep in the shower and then, blasted hourlong Afrobeats, Yinka Ayefele or RCCG’s Bukola Bekes’ marathon songs, because those get me dancing. 😄 Some days, I had to go to work early and go to the toilet to do my makeup, because it’s better to be at work and be in the toilet, than to get to work late. #MannySaidSo 😂
Now, to the present. 😪 I still hate mornings. More than ever. There are people in my house! Oh, my parents’ house. 😂 Well, 😪 when life throws you lemons … you catch them. 😫 I’m waiting to go for my Master’s programme, so I’m kind of on a long break away from schooling. I write for work (ghostwriting) and I eat and live, for fun. I hate working for people, because I like to work to my own schedule and at my own pace, which can be dangerously fast and indefinite. Apparently, conscientious and some selfish employers don’t like employees who like to work overtime. 😐
Back to the matter, I do miss having a work contract. 😢 I like working with people and TBH, a steady source of income is never an unpleasant or unnecessary friend to your bank account. 😭 A work contract, for me, is a very good source of discipline for productivity — sorry, but it’s only for those who have a strong sense of responsibility. You know that you owe your employer, your colleagues and your clients a duty to not only show up promptly to work, but also produce quality work to an exceptional standard. If that doesn’t give you a sense of discipline or an urge to develop one, please pack your bags and leave the company, before you have to explain to your next employer (if there will be one) why you have bad or no recommendations.
You wake up at your own convenience (I wish) and calculate how many “awake” hours you have for the day. Then, make a to-do list for the day, arranging your tasks in order of priority, and practicality of accomplishment.
Now, on the other side of the “working” coin, is the category of those who need an internal source of discipline, to be productive. When you realise that your momentary calling seems to be in writing and incidentally, you’re not a morning person, motivation, drive, determination, surely you must be familiar with the whole family; they’re all on the DIY aisle. 😫 You wake up at your own convenience (I wish) and calculate how many “awake” hours you have for the day. Then, make a to-do list for the day, arranging your tasks in order of priority, and practicality of accomplishment. Some of us find it easy to first tick off the easier things on our to-do list, then revisit the more tasking ones. Others prefer to sort out the more complex tasks, first. Whichever is your style, just work with practicality, and potential for results.
There’s even another source of motivation for me: I see my to-do list as a scoreboard for the devil and I. Mornings (or whenever I wake up) are like this:
The devil: Aha! Let’s see how much you can do today. 😈 I bet you, you’ll go to bed without even visiting your to-do list.
Me: What! Hell no! 😡
*opens to-do list, gives self 1 point for visiting to-do list*
Me: Now, which one is the easiest and quickest to accomplish? Leggo! Not taking any Ls today! 😫
Mind you, on some particularly bad, lazy days, the scoreboard is 0-8. 😫 The scoring system works like this: at the end of the day, total ticked tasks = my score, total unticked tasks = the devil’s score. I’m very competitive. 😂
Sacrifice. 😪 We all hate it. But it’s necessary. 😩 It’s that “child-adult transition” experience: you have to man up. Be an adult. No one is going to give you what you want for free (unless you are one of those entitled people). You have to give what you have or could have to get what you need. It could be your time, your sleep, your energy, your attention, your money, your possessions, your fears or concerns, your weaknesses, your perceived inabilities, your hatred for networking or talking to other people, whatever you have to give away or let go of, in order to receive what you need. That is your sacrifice. So, whatever you need to sacrifice, to tick things off your to-do list, give it, let go of it!
Moral of the story (😂 this is not a story): if it’s the destination or end goal that motivates you, let it be at the forefront of your mind. If it’s seeing ticks that motivates you, keep looking at your to-do list. If it’s the the feeling of accomplishment that motivates you, make sure you accomplish something today. Whatever motivates you, internally (everybody’s got at least one), find/ exercise/ do it! Results are not going to be home-delivered to you! They’re waiting on the other side of the till in the store. Pay the price (your sacrifice) and get them and go home happy!
Meanwhile, that kitchen conversation has today’s version:
*scoops oats into bowl*
Brain: My friend, will you add more! If you’re dishing only half a bowl, you might as well not eat. 😒
*walks over to the basket of fried fish and contemplates how many to take*
Me: 😕 I think one is ok.
*walks away from the kitchen*
Brain: Why will you take one? 🙄 Oga, add the second one jo!
*goes back to the kitchen and takes another piece of fish*
I’m tired. 😪