“My motto was to keep swinging. Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do was to keep swinging.” –Hank Aaron
I need to get this article written by a particular time and the weather is so beautiful, my partner is on holidays and I want to be enjoying the outdoors with him.
So, when we are in the middle of such a day, what can we do?
Here are a few ways of dealing with it and moving forward…
1. Focus on benefits
Run through your mind all the possible negative impacts of not completing the tasks at hand, today. After that, run through a mental list of the benefits you’ll achieve when they’re all done.
If it helps, jot down a short handwritten list of pros and cons of not pushing through this temporary slump.
Keep all the positives that you listed, at the front of your mind while you prepare to get down to your first most important job for today.
2. Have it all
Relax into the day and allow yourself a bit of everything, the things you must do and the things you want to do.
Segment your day into distinct work times and rest times. If you’re going to do that, it’s vital to be very clear about what you will be doing during each of those individual time segments.
Perhaps you want to take that into the week and month also. Have deliberately chosen days off and days on. Have deliberately scheduled slow weeks and fast weeks.
Chunk your biggest tasks for today, into smaller chunks. Complete one bite sized chunk at a time and give yourself breaks in between each.
For example, in writing this article I decided to first come up with each of the sub-headings. Once that was done, it is easy to fill the spaces between, and one at a time.
Have all your research and tools prepared and set up to go, so you’re less likely to experience hurdles that are likely to stop you during your task.
4. Do less, achieve more
Sometimes it really helps me to slow down. When we’re in overwhelm, our mind can often be racing. We can’t think as clearly when we’re in that state.
When we deliberately slow down and take a longer look at what is in front of us, we usually come up with some novel and creative solutions.
A mind full of clutter has trouble seeing the wood for the trees, so it’s also helpful to stop and just write down the tasks. Determine the ones that must be done today and reschedule some others. Clear the decks for the important jobs.
5. Find inspiration
Take a look at other people’s accomplishments in tasks similar to the one in which you’re about to engage. What can you adapt or re-purpose for use in your own project(s)?
Again, using this article as an example, I did a bit of an online search on the topic and found other articles on similar topics which sparked a few ideas for me.
Daydream a little. Imagine the finished task and how it will look. When you “walk around it” in your mind’s eye, you may see some aspects you’d not yet considered.
This may sound really weird to you. You’re overwhelmed with just too much on your plate and can’t think of where to begin, yet I am suggesting that you give away some time!
Give it a shot. Ask someone else if they’d like help with something and go help them with it.
When you return to your own, I think you will be quite amazed at the rise in your own energy levels and how ready you’ll feel to get into your own tasks.
7. Start small
Set up all the tools you need for the jobs you have to finish today. Once those are all ready and at arms length, it will be much easier to start in the moment that you sit at your desk.
Begin with one, small, first action toward the completion of your most important task. For example, if you’re writing an article, choose its topic and heading.
One action, no matter how small, usually is enough to engage your mind and a next step or new idea pops up for you. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other.
8. Reward yourself
Allow for a larger time slot at the end of the day to only do things that you really want to do, as a big reward for sticking to the job of completing your less attractive tasks.
Our subconscious remembers those feelings of satisfaction and pride associated with completed tasks.
Success breeds success, and each time in future that you are stuck, past success memories make it easier to remind yourself of how you’ll feel when you make the effort to push through.
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