I once read a blog where the author described a rut as a ‘productivity vacuum’, and I don’t think that I could have said it any better.
The end of the year is always a struggle for me. When things are meant to be winding down, they seem to kick up a notch and I am never really prepared. If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you will have seen a recent post (well in the early weeks of December), where I missed uploading a video on my YouTube channel.
I was having a very tough time dealing with a few things in my work and personal life and no matter how hard I tried to fix what was going wrong, it just seemed to get worse. I struggled with sadness, and disappointment, and I took it hard when my creativity was judged by others, it literally shattered my confidence and motivation. During the same period, I crashed my car, and was pulled over by a traffic officer for being on the phone (for the first time ever, as my car has handsfree that wasn’t working this day).
The fact that my blog took a hit during that week as well made it even worse.
Thankfully, it’s now a new year, and time for a fresh start, and since I did not achieve very many of my New Year’s Resolutions from 2017 I would to avoid reflecting on them and making new ones. J
So today I am sharing with you a few things that I like to do to try and life my spirits and get me out of my ruts.
Here are a few things that help me get out of my ruts and recenter:
Tackle the tiny tasks.
I find that when I am in a rut, tackle larger tasks beat me down even further. I find myself more motivated when I tackle smaller tasks that have been piling up for a while. Read one of recent posts where I discuss how I keep myself motivated and ticking off small tasks on my weekly to do list.
Break away from the work chains.
Get yourself away from wherever you sit to do your work (this includes those that work from home). Take a walk, wipe a counter top, declutter a drawer, check the fridge to make sure that the light is still working, or head off to the bathroom to splash water on your face. Sitting at your desk for too long can cloud your brain, and often great ideas will come up when you are away from your desk.
Chat to someone.
I mean to a friend, a co-worker, your mother-in-law, or anyone who is willing to listen to you babble in order to get your mind off of work.
Remember that Perfect is overrated.
I tend to criticize myself when I am down, and I know that I am not the only one with this bad habit. It’s not about being the best at what you need to accomplish, it’s about doing the best you can with the situation you are in, all in your own time.
Set your own pace.
Don’t allow others to set your pace for you. Staying in control of your time will help you to control the outcome of your tasks. Unreasonable pressure from deadlines set by others that I am not able to meet tend to break me down, and into a rut. I like to be honest and open with others so that they know what can be expected from me regarding my work.
Set some goals.
Often, when I am in a rut, it’s because too much has been tasked to me at once and I cannot seem to see the end result of what I need to accomplish. I like to visualize (where possible) the goal that I am working towards. A visual goal helps me prioritize smaller tasks that will lead me to accomplish the overall goal, and not waste my time on tasks that add no benefit.
Find yourself a hobby.
Take up reading, start colouring, drawing, or even playing Sudoku. I find that my hobbies are a great way to get my mind away from working and completely immersed into something else. At the moment I am reading Anna Kendrick’s book, Scrappy Little Nobody. If you love dry humour and witty comments, do yourself a favour and read her book.
Remember why you are doing this.
I often lose sight of why I am actually wasting my time with a task or why I am putting myself through an enormous amount of stress. Be it a work related task or personal reasons, when I feel myself heading for a downhill slope, I take a step back to remember why I’m doing this.
Take a hike. Literally.
Exercise is a great way to clear your head up, and what better way to clear your head than to breathe in some fresh air. Don’t like hikes? A jog around your neighborhood works just as well! I generally try and do exercise between 5 and 6 times and have 1 to 2 rest days.
Sometimes stopping completely might be the best answer.
Although not always possible, sometimes stepping away from the tasks and the end goal, entirely, for a short period of time can be the best remedy for your rut. I often find that blogging as often as what I do with the personal struggles, and with the time-consuming job that I have, admitting defeat and stepping away from my blogging for a few days, weeks, or even months, can set me back on the right path. I have time to reflect, time to really think about and set my goals, and I also give myself some me time and time to indulge in the smaller things in life.