I’m not always productive. Last Saturday, I got up at the crack of dawn, wrote a list of 20 things to accomplish on my white board and crossed off every single one of them.
Today is not one of those days.
I took NyQuil last night to ward off this annoying cold that keeps coming and going and today I woke up at 11 as groggy as groggy can be.
Now, it’s already 12:30 and if I let myself, it will be 3:00 and I’ll still be sitting in front of the tube watching infomercials about vacuums (they are my guilty pleasure).
There’s nothing wrong with doing this once in a while. But I only allow myself so much of this. I’ve found that a full day of nothingness only makes me feel empty and hollow at the end of it, as if I allowed the the day to get away from me. It’s the worst on my precious weekend days. I hate that. So before I let that happen, I need to remind myself that it can only happen if I let it.
I thought I’d share with you ways that I get inspired to get up and move on those days when it’s really hard. It is working for me today and I hope this may work for you when you need it:
1) Write a list of things you wish to accomplish. Ask yourself, what could I do today that would make me feel good? Try to make them specific and real, not the same old list you make every weekend. Make today about today. It shouldn’t be the same as yesterday or the last Saturday. For instance, here’s a typical list that works just fine on days when you’re feeling productive:
- Do laundry
- Go grocery shopping
- Write a blog post
Unfortunately, on these slow-going days, this plain vanilla list just ain’t gonna cut it. The same list will be up on my whiteboard with no criss-crosses through it. Rather, I ask myself, what exactly do I want to accomplish today and what is the end goal? When you do things just to do them, you lose the purpose and meaning of doing those things. But if you do things because you know you will love the outcome, then all of a sudden you’re filled with purpose again:
- Have clean towels (ahhhh – warm, fresh clean towels straight from the dryer would be so nice)
- Restock on my fresh foods (no more takeout this week!! more energy and liveliness!!)
- Share a thought with the world – not for the world but for me (oh, yes I have so many thoughts to share. Just get out and do it already!!)
2) Drink another cup of coffee. Ok, you health-nuts out there, I know you’re saying it’s not good to rely on some substance to get you going. But there are worse things than coffee and studies show it’s good for you, so I say – go ahead. If a nice warm, freshly brewed cup of coffee gives you a little boost – go for it. It can be tea, juice, whatever… just go for it.
By the way, numbers 1 and 2 did it for me… you see I’m up and writing!
3) Get ready. How can you expect to have a productive day when you’re dressed for bed? Get ready as if you’re getting ready for work: shower, wash your face, change your clothes, whatever. Your brain associates doing these things with getting mentally and physically prepared for a productive day. Why should any day be different?
4) Start with something you love. Check out your list above. Do you always leave your favorite thing for last because you want to get the boring stuff out of the way? Why do we do this to ourselves? If that one thing you love is going to make you feel better than all of the other tasks combined, why not just go and do it? Not only will you feel good, but by the time you’re done with that, you’ll feel ready to start knocking down those other things too.
5) Stay in the moment. Don’t think about what you will dread. The second you start thinking about all of the things that you have to do, you will quickly talk yourself out of doing these things and into staying on that couch. Instead, think about stretching your legs… and do it. Think about standing up… and do it. That feels nice. Enjoy it, soak it in. Think about opening up the window and looking outside. How sunny and beautiful it is today. Think about walking over to the bathroom and and turning on the shower. Feel the hot water hitting your skin. Why don’t we allow ourselves to enjoy these moments, when they can be so rewarding? Instead, we think about the next task and then the next task. Enjoy life, it’s a beautiful gift!
Alright, my fellow warriors, I’m off to take on the day. This list inspired me as I was writing it! :)