How I Got Back On Track | 6 Tips for Rebooting Your Productivity

How I Got Back on Track. 6 Tips for getting back in a productive mode.Over the last few months I’ve been stuck in a rut. A rut of feeling stressed out, that there isn’t enough time in the day, that I’m behind on stuff, etc.

You’ve been there, right?

Over the last few weeks, though, I feel like I have had a bit of a reboot. Things aren’t perfect, but I have tried a few things that helped push me out of that rut and get back on track.

And if you’re stuck in a rut, I hope it helps you too!

1. Have a think and figure out what is causing your stress or lack of motivation | Sure, you’re feeling stressed because there is a lot on your to-do list. But why do you have that long to-do list? What’s holding you back from tackling those items? For me, it turned out that I was wasting way too much time on TV. I love TV! And there is nothing wrong with that. But I was choosing to give myself the reward of watching something before tackling to-do items. So loosing that precious work time by watching TV was causing me the stress.

I’ve also been feeling blah about myself, physically. I’m not fat… but I’m not my usual self either. And I’ve been lacking motivation to exercise. And I’m sure the lack of exercise is contributing to my feelings of sluggishness and choosing to be lazy (watching TV) over being productive. Make sense?

2. Figure out how to fix those things that cause you stress | Once I had a chance to really think about the root of my stress, then I needed to figure out how to fix it. There’s no reason to cut TV out of my life completely. That’s just dumb. And unrealistic. But I need to set some boundaries. I should limit myself to just 30 minutes during nap time to have a tea break with a TV show. That sounds more reasonable! I also started going on walks as soon as Elizabeth got up, to clear my mind, get some fresh air, and energize.

3. Set aside time for a planning session, and then brain dump | Once I had a good plan to tackle the underlying issues of feeling unmotivated, I could tackle the long to-do list! I just set aside one nap time to do a good old fashioned brain dump. I grabbed a notebook and my planner, and just wrote down EVERYTHING that was floating around in my head as a to-do. Even if it was doing a load of laundry. If it was rattling around in my head, it went down in the list.

4. Sort that brain dump | As relaxing as it is to write a huge, long to-do list, it’s super overwhelming to look at it all once you’re done writing it all down. It’s a HUGE list! And you’re never quite sure where to start. I went through that long list and started to sort it. You could sort by deadline (what really has to get done today? what needs done by the end of the week?) or by category (housework vs. consulting work vs. blog). But make the list more manageable! If you’re a printable person, this free printable from Emily Ley has a brain dump sheet, already split in to 4 quadrants!

And then I came up with a battle plan to complete the list! Doesn’t have to be done in a day, but a battle plan will help you feel more in control and prepared.

5. Tackle and start (or complete) the task you REALLY don’t want to do | This little tidbit has busted me out of many ruts. I end up putting off the silliest tasks (sending emails, making phone calls) and they all build up. It would take me only 2 minutes to complete, but I just. don’t. want. to. So when I was ready to tackle that lengthy, overwhelming to-do list, I looked for the thing I just was dreading. Nothing feels better at the end of the day knowing you started or completed a task you hate!

6. Rinse and repeat | Now that my special TV/Tea time and morning walks are a part of my routine, I’ve noticed I have more energy and drive to get stuff done! I have also been setting aside some brain dump/planning time at the same time each evening. This was something I did when I was working full time, and it kept me so organized and focused. I don’t know why I forgot to incorporate this in to my SAHM routine! I was sort of doing it on occasion, but having a set time every evening was the game changer. I set aside 30 minutes each evening, after my husband and I have had our TV time, and I brain dump. Miracles are happening, folks.

So that’s it! 6 things that I did to help give me a reboot. And so far, so good. Like all things organizing, I could change it all again in a few months! But sometimes when you get stuck in a rut, you need a boost to get you back on track.

What do you do when you’re stuck in a rut? Any special tips/tricks?? I’d love to hear them!

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  1. Ruthie Gray says:

    Hi Katie,

    Nice to meet you – I’m your neighbor today on Tuesday Talk!

    Your tips are great, and they bring out the point that we so often overlook – get a game plan when you feel overwhelmed. I have to do this too. And lists are my favorite (even if they are very long) because they keep me on track and focused. Which in turn brings hope that you can accomplish those tasks that need done!

    And YES. So often we waste time on stuff that’s just STUFF. (For me it’s getting sucked in to aps on my phone.)

    Your picture with your little girl is so cute, btw.

    Enjoy your day (and your lists)!

    • Katie @ Cup of Tea says:

      Hi neighbor 🙂 Lists are glorious, aren’t they? My issue is I love to write a list, but don’t have the game plan to tackle it. Until now, anyway!! Thanks for stopping by!!

  2. Nikki says:

    This is such a great post! I found myself in a Summer rut once we were done with our homeschool for the year. It was just so easy to get lazy.

    I finally sat down and made a list of all of the things that need to be done each day/week and put them in my planner.

    I try to make myself to all of the “need to” items before the day gets away from me. It doesn’t always happen, but I sure feel better when it does.

    Having a plan is key for me.

  3. Ashley says:

    Great post, Katie! I am also feeling stuck and unmotivated, lately. I will have to try some of your ideas out! I am glad it is working so well for you!

    • Katie @ Cup of Tea says:

      Being stuck in a rut is so hard…. just don’t beat yourself up about it! Just try to tackle it a little bit at a time.

  4. Beth says:

    I love this post so much it has some great, practical tips. So often people get stuck and they just don’t know what to do. Thanks for linking up with Tuesday Talk!

    • Katie @ Cup of Tea says:

      I feel like I get stuck every few months 🙂 It’s my thing. So I’m a seasoned pro about getting out of it now HAHA! Thanks for hosting!

  5. Jess says:

    This is perfect timing because I’ve been stuck in a rut lately and feeling so meh about things. I really struggle with just committing to one thing at a time, ie TV time turns into some other seated task. Ugh! Any suggestions for just letting yourself take a break??

    • Katie @ Cup of Tea says:

      Oh man I wish I did. I’m not very good at multitasking. But if you the a scheduler I would schedule time to wind down. For me it’s the first 30ish minutes of afternoon nap. Maybe for you it’s just before bed. But I would set aside the same time every day.

  6. Catherine Short says:

    The last week or so my husband and I have been trying to end our days reading in bed instead of watching TV. It’s been so enlightening! We still watch our TV shows, but they can be a major time suck.

    • Katie @ Cup of Tea says:

      Such a time suck! Especially when it automatically starts a new episode. It makes it too easy to watch tv.

  7. Lis says:

    I found your blog through the H54F linkup! I love this post and can definitely relate as a recent grad who is job searching!! Thank you for the tips and I will definitely be trying them out 🙂

    • Katie @ Cup of Tea says:

      So glad you found my ramblings helpful. I go through periods of being REALLY productive, and then REALLY stuck… it happens, right? I’m thinking of you as you job search. That period of my life was not pleasant. The hardest experience I’ve ever been through to date, but all the waiting, interviewing and frustration landed me the BEST job I’ve ever had! Just keep at it, and don’t be discouraged. Have a great weekend!

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