Productivity Down! An Emergency Response Guide
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Emergency! You’ve fallen off the productivity wagon. You’re tired, you’re feeling down, you’re procrastinating, you might even be a little hungover, and you feel like chucking that to-do list in the bin. We’ve all been there, and more often than not when you’ve lost your momentum it’s doubly hard to get it back again. That’s why I’ve created this guide for just such emergencies. It covers five suggestions that I personally use. The key focus is to get that momentum back and get the wagon rolling again and that’s what the following will help you to do.
- Do something, anything!
This may go against a lot of what I talk about here – focusing on the right things and not doing stuff for the sake of it – but the one advantage of just doing anything is that it’s a quick and cheap way of getting some momentum behind you. Sometimes when you just can’t be bothered, doing a bunch of small and irrelevant but easy tasks like organizing the contents of a drawer or de-cluttering your book collection can give you the forward motion you need to focus on those bigger obstacles.
- Get a good nights sleep
It’s a simple one this. If you’re tired, hungover or generally overwhelmed with everything, make sure you get a good night’s sleep. It’s hard to regain your productivity if you can’t think clearly or have a banging headache. You may be surprised how much your productivity is tied up with your energy levels. The best way to get recharged is to get sleep!
- Clear the decks
I hate loose ends. They are a distraction and a major drain on your resources. Often, I’ll ignore them or let them slip under the radar because, all they really are is annoying, finicky little chores. However, when you’ve fallen off the wagon those loose ends create the muddy ground which makes getting moving again twice as hard. A little time spent clearing the decks now – moving your paperwork into folders or tidying up your home – will make things much easier when you finally get back on track.
- Have a major mind sweep
If the metaphorical muddy puddles of having loose ends lying around everywhere isn’t bad enough, than the weeds and vines of uncaptured thoughts swirling around your head is likely to keep you rooted to the spot. Bring up a trigger list, take a seat and start capturing all those thoughts, things to do and creative ideas that are swirling around inside your brain. Better out than in as they say.
- Start ASAP
Fallen off the wagon? Get back on now. Don’t put it off. Don’t look for a fresh start with a new week, day, month or anything like that, you will just drive yourself mad waiting around to take action. Even if it just involves doing one of the tips in this post, don’t wait to regain that sense of purpose. Waiting for the idea time to pick yourself up again or waiting to achieve that spark of productive magic means you’ll be waiting around for a long time. It’s like playing a game of football. If you get tackled and loose the ball, you get back up again and keep playing – you don’t wait till the next match to start playing again.