Not so high on productivity right now? Rest assured, you’re not the only one and fortunately, others before you who have run into this worry wall, found a way around it and left hints on how to best manage yourself when things go from bad to worse. You might be in a tight spot right now but with these little pointers, surviving it might not be that difficult after all.
1. Be your friend
What would you do if your best friend had so much to do, so little time to do it and even less energy and motivation to go on? Would you be supportive? Would you care for trying to find a solution? Well, if your answer to these questions is ‘yes’ then you’d better get in there with all your supportiveness and affection and stand by yourself as you would do if it was your best friend in your place. It’s more than productivity to be learned here. You can’t really become helpful and loving towards others unless you learn to do it with yourself first. And hard times and situations are the best moments to learn it.
2. Remain disciplined
Now this actually is the single one most important thing you must always remember. It all boils down to this. It’s like being in a fight – no matter how tough it gets, how tired you become, how discouraged you might be, eventually, you can NEVER afford to give up discipline, you can’t afford to do that and the faster you understand, the better off you will be and the thought that you only have forward to go will freshen you up every time you hit a wall. Think of the Roman or the Spartan armies and how strategic they would manage to remain in any condition, despite any adversities. But remember the first point – although we talked in battle terms, gentleness and self-caring are the keywords here. It’s not about winning all the time, it’s about having a core principle and being loyal to yourself and your commitments.
3. Remain focused
The second can’t work without the third and vice versa. Stick to your plan (that’s why having a system is so important – check our previous stuff on how to get organized), eliminate distractions but allow yourself constant small rewards (again, remember the first point!) and don’t let yourself forget that focus is that thing that happens between the moment the archer releases the arrow and the one when it hits its target.
4. Use Music
Sometimes that exact tune played at the exact volume can make exactly the difference that gets you back on the track and not off it. Maybe you need that song that always gets you pumped up like in the gym-mode, other times you might need something but neutral as well so you don’t get distracted by it.
5. Use Naps
We don’t even get into the – get enough sleep issue here – this one belongs to the organizing scheme. Now we’re only emphasizing the solution for when having to sustain long intervals of hard work. Think about it this way – having a nap when you’re so exhausted you can barely can keep both eyes in the same direction it’s like having a vitamin-powered snack, or a protein milkshake when your appetite reaches the level where you could write yourself a new series of the Hunger Games and be sure it’s a best seller. Don’t ever underestimate the power of a 40-minute nap – it’s a more efficient, more long-lasting and definitely a whole lot healthier way to recharge your batteries and re-engage your cognitive and creative skills than the common caffeine/energy drinks boost every seems to rely on.
When we lose sight of our purpose or we don’t have one to begin with, well, that’s when the red light really goes on. A purpose makes it a dozen times easier to get things done by turning your motivation lights on and helping you achieve that focus we mentioned earlier as being painfully important. Lacking purpose – a reason behind completing a to-do can be extremely poisonous to our mind, mood and therefore focus and overall results. Indeed that thing we must do at a given moment may not be what we hoped for, what we like or even what we think we need to build something on, but maybe that is the exact threshold we must pass in order to reach the things we really want to do. Take every rock in your way as a stepping-stone. That is finding purpose in everything you do. From bigger purposes down to smaller ones. Sometimes doing an apparent purposeless thing could give us the much needed waking call and push us closer to the nurturing bosom of a true, worthy of, purpose. The key to remain purposed is training yourself to be able to remind yourself about what and why is important every single moment of any of your days. Behind purpose you find reward, behind purpose you find courage, behind purpose you find joy.