Life can be exhausting. Ministry can be exhausting. Work can be exhausting. Add seasons of little sleep and an overwhelming to-do list and daily life seems almost impossible.
Believe me, I totally get you. I’m a work-from-home Mom which means I’m basically crazy. Since I obviously know what I’m taking about, I want to give you some tips on how to get things done when you just don’t feel like it.
TAKE A BREAK
I know this sounds counterproductive but I promise, it helps! Get up, go get some coffee, stretch, get some fresh air, or just walk around. I always find that I’m much more productive on days that I’ve taken short breaks periodically instead of trying to power through work for hours on end. You can use the Pomodoro Technique, or whatever time specific interval works for you, but the main objective is to take breaks BEFORE mental fatigue kicks in. You can use a HIIT workout timer app to setup specific intervals, the basic timer that came with your phone, or go old school with a cool kitchen timer! Just find something that you know you’ll use consistently.
DRINK. PLENTY. OF. WATER!
Yeah, it sounds boring but it makes a huge difference. Being dehydrated can lead to headaches, fatigue, and even confusion which is the last thing you want when you’re trying to work. I keep a large water bottle on my desk with me so I have no excuse not to stay hydrated. You can try investing in an awesome water bottle or add a splash of fruit juice to encourage yourself to continue the habit. Again, chose something you know you can stick with.
KEEP YOUR WORK SPACE ISOLATED
As someone who works from home, this is very important! In fact, my desk is actually in a closet. Yeah, a closet. This is helpful for two reasons. First of all, I can close the doors and on my days off I never have to see my workspace. I can detach and focus on my family. Also, it isn’t in the middle of the house. My desk used to be in our dining area which was horrible for my productivity. We have an open concept house so if I was sitting in the dining room I could also see the kitchen and the living room which also meant I could see toys that needed to be put away, floors that needed to be swept, and dishes that needed to be washed. If you work from home, make sure you have a designated office or an area for your desk that is away from the busy areas of your home.
TURN OFF EMAIL NOTIFICATIONS
This is a hard one to stick with but it has helped me stay focused and productive. Every time you hear that familiar sound or see that desktop notification that signals a new email, your first instinct is to read it or delete it. The problem with that is it’s distracting you from the task you started. It will temporarily derail your progress and all the jumping back and forth can decrease your mental endurance which is the last thing you need if you’re already exhausted! I recommend checking your email at the top of every hour and closing the app or turning off desktop notifications when you aren’t actively reading and organizing your inbox.