I’m sitting in my favourite cafe, a half-drunken glass of spirulina+coconut water in front of me; a steaming hot cup of spiced tea on my right. I’m flicking through social media channels under the premise of ‘working’, and looking at my to-do list as I feel a combination of guilt, fear, overwhelm and confusion. Sound familiar?
As a self-employed gypsetter, I set my own rules, my own goals, my own income targets. And I write my own to-do lists. And sometimes… Sometimes those to-do lists just don’t seem to be budging.
I know what I need to do. But I’m just not doing it. I have creative constipation. My motivation and inspiration have gone on holidays without me. And my usual discipline seems to have run for the hills.
Even though I love my work, I just don’t feel like doing it. And there’s about eleventy-million other fun things, distractions, and friends who want me to come play with them around. Plus endless unexplored beaches, markets, villages and temples calling my name.
Life as a gypsetter is generally a relatively fluid, constantly-in-motion, unsettled one. Which means that being consistent, being productive and successfully working on the road takes a certain ability to find my inner balance and stability.
So on days like today – which hasn’t just been today – it’s been a week now – and I’m getting bored and frustrated about my inability to move forward; I actively bring my life back in motion by going back to basics and finding my flow.
Productivity Anywhere + Anytime. 5 Ways I Get Stuff Done.
JUST DO IT.
I sit my little bottom down on a cushion, ask my fellow creative gypsetters to keep quiet, or buzz off and just start writing. Writing for me is cathartic, and it is also a huge part of my business. Whether it’s writing blog posts, emails, marketing, follow-ups for clients, or creating content for a project or program; writing is at the core of what I do. The moment I start writing, I get back into my flow. The hardest part is simply that first sentence. Et voila! I’m back.
Resistance to getting work done is usually down to 2 things:
1. The tasks at hand feel overwhelming because I haven’t broken them down into small enough pieces or;
2. They are rubbing up against my comfort zone, seem a bit too big and scary and I’m resisting them because it means I have to put my big girl pants on and GROW.
When things aren’t moving forward, I get clear on the WHY for the resistance. Clarity is magic baby! The moment I identify where the resistance comes from, I can do something about it.
BE DISCIPLINED + CONSISTENT.
Gypsetter or not, anyone is self-employed has to practice a certain amount of discipline. I really love what I do, and have a commitment to myself to do it to the best of my ability. As I learn and grow, I up my standards, refine my processes, and re-focus my discipline. Being disciplined for me, means showing up, and completing tasks every day. I consistently do at least ONE thing, towards my business, and my goals and dreams, every day.
CREATE A ROUTINE… + BE FLEXIBLE.
I need a bit of routine to give space for my creativity and spontaneous lifestyle to flourish. In each new place, I create a routine that works for me, around the circumstances that I find myself in. Often that means that I keep my mornings to myself: I wake up, meditate, check my emails, and settle in for a 4-5 hour stint of work over a long-lasting and languid breakfast. This means that I’m focused, know how much time I have to get things done, and can let go and enjoy other parts of my life knowing I’ve completed what I need to.
Having said that, my routine is flexible. I constantly adjust it to best support my lifestyle and my goals. That means on travel days I do less work, and on other days I cancel all my other engagements because I’m deep in the thrust of creation and don’t want to step away from my current muse. When it’s too hot (like it’s getting now) I save my work for the early mornings and late nights.
It also means that I take advantage of any given moment. If I feel inspired, or have an idea, or a block of time when I am waiting for something, I pull out my notebook or iPad and do something. Maybe it’s antisocial, maybe it’s inconvenient, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that I’m living from my heart, in the present moment, and expressing what comes up, as and when it does.
KEEP IT SIMPLE + CELEBRATE ACCOMPLISHMENTS.
I do my best not to over-schedule myself, and limit my tasks so they feel do-able. I am happy if I accomplish 3 tasks per day, and celebrate my successes.
I love this quote:
Busy doesn’t mean you’re getting much done. It also doesn’t mean that you’re happy or having fun. It usually means that you’ve crammed way too much stuff into your mind and life-space and are pretending that means you’re more important than you really are.
Keep your ego in check, stay focused and do what you can do, consistently, every day. Even when you don’t feel like it.
Productivity is simply a mind game. Just do it. Recognise resistance. Be disciplined and consistent. Create a routine, and be flexible. Keep it simple and celebrate your accomplishments. That’s the way I do it!