make your bed.

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There are days in our wholehearted creative businesses when we feel on top of the world, ready to accomplish 50 things on our to-do list.  And then there are days when we don't feel motivated at all.  We think all of our ideas are lame.  You just want to lay in bed all day and watch Netflix.  While I am a firm believer in taking breaks now and then, there are times you need to push yourself to be productive.  You can start simple:

make your bed.

Doesn't it just feel better to make your bed each morning, like you're already being productive, and you can walk into the room and be delighted in yourself for completing a task so early in the day?  I like to make my bed immediately when I get up.  Trouble is, there's still someone there for a while.  I get up way earlier than my husband does, so I wait until he's in the shower, or often he makes it before I come back to the room.  It's just nice to start the day with a bed made.  Or maybe it's just me?

I also shower right after waking up.  I used to wait a while, and have my coffee and quiet time first.  The problem with that, for me, is that people would start waking up and needing things from me, and then I'd feel rushed to shower and get ready with what time I had left.  Also, I have long, thick hair and I strongly dislike having to blow it dry, so showering right away gives it lots of time to mostly air dry, and I finish with a hair dryer 10-15 minutes before I need to leave.

If you feel frazzled in the morning and don't have time to make your bed or do something that you'd like to, try doing those things first.  

Think about the tasks you need to do each morning, and start to put them in order of importance.  Are there any to-dos on your list that you can do at the same time?  Going through email is a chore that I don't enjoy much.  There are some gems among the junk, and I keep unsubscribing to things that I'm no longer interested in, but it's still not my favorite thing to do.  However, if I don't do it, my inbox keeps growing, and then it becomes a big time wasting task.  So I try to find things that I can do at the same time as checking email.  Some days that means catching up on Grey's Anatomy or This is Us on my iPad while going through email on my laptop.  Other times I'll listen to something more productive like a podcast, or just have worship music playing softly.  

Another thing that really helps me to be productive in the morning is to have a plan the night before.  I promise you that if I didn't have a plan for this Write 31 Days series ahead of time, I would most likely sit at my laptop each morning and just stare at it for a while, or get distracted by other things.  I probably would have given up about half way through because I'd miss a day here and there, and just not bother to continue.  

I made a list weeks before the challenge started, and wrote down a few notes for each topic so that I would know what to write about each morning.  Most evenings, I look at the next day's topic so I can start thinking about what to write and how to write it.  I left myself room for flexibility, and have changed a few things on the list as the month has progressed, but having a plan to start with has been a huge help in keeping this going.

Do you have tips for staying productive?  What have you found to be effective on days you don't feel motivated?  Please share!

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Inspiration and resources to encourage you in creativity, faith, dreaming big and taking action.