I know you've had days like this. In fact, they can last for longer than just a few days. It's those days that really test you due to some hardship in your life. It becomes so hard to get motivated and you just can't seem to get anything done. You know you have to do these things, it's your job or you made a promise and you are a person of integrity. Of course, as luck has it, your motivation usually starts drying up right around the time something big is supposed to happen at work or in your business. Your non profit may have that big capital campaign coming up, or you are launching a new program in your business, you have a brand new marketing campaign to develop for the new product you created...but, life is happening too. Your child is sick at home, things aren't going so well at home, you were in a car accident, something major needs to be fixed in the house, or a family member is ill. These stressors can lead to poor sleep quality or in many cases you are not sleeping at all. And, I've learned that a lack of motivation in one area of my life stems from neglecting other things like exercise, eating well, and sleeping well. But it doesn't need to get to that. And if it does get to that, you can get out of it. Further, I'm here to tell you that you can stay motivated and be productive with your work and career tasks when you are going through something tough personally...
I have been tested like this more than I'd like in my life. Being a mom who runs a business, my home, and my life, these times can get extremely challenging and I can say I have made it out productive and most importantly remaining sane through it all. Here are 3 things I do to stay motivated and productive when life throws a curve ball or something worse.
Redefine Productive. Look at what is required of you and what it really means to be productive. Does every little thing on your task list need to get crossed off to be productive? Probably not. If you really analyze your to-dos, there are likely several items you can delegate and hand off to others. Pick the "I gotta get it done" items off your list and either hand the others off to colleagues or just drop them off your list for now. In your personal life, think the same way. Does the house have to be spotless or are you just adding that stress on yourself? Re-look at what you said yes to and try to tell yourself that this time, it's okay to change your mind and say no.
Build Up Energy. So productivity increases when you have more energy. Now, this is likely that time when your energy tank is running low. Make a commitment to acknowledge that and then give yourself the time and space to build up your energy. Part of that is not doing activities that zap your energy such as surfing the web, hanging out on facebook or spending hours watching TV. I know how good it feels to do a show marathon when life is down and out, but it is the worst thing you can do if productivity and motivation is what you need. Try exercising even for just 10-15 minutes. Listen to uplifting music. Eat super food like walnuts, avocado, chia seeds, yogurt, or blueberries. Meditate. Go for a walk or a hike. Do a combination of all of these as often as possible.
Get Support. This is something that seems so overstated. Yes, of course, we need support during tough times. Duh. But, SOOO many people neglect to actually do this. Whether it's talking to a close friend or sharing with your significant other, do what you can to make this burdensome time not so lonely. In order to make it truly helpful to you, let the other person know you just need to vent. When they get into trying to solve the problem for you, it can get frustrating and you'll regret sharing. Now, asking a friend or family member to brainstorm solutions is another good idea, but make it an actual brainstorming session with markers, and flip charts...really get them involved in helping you figure things out so you aren't figuring it out all alone.
Remember, as tough as things are, you can get through it. Be sure to redefine what productivity really means right now, do things that build up your energy and as much as you might want to avoid telling people what you are going through, please do confide in someone. You will find that doing these three things will do wonders in helping you stay motivated and become productive.
Here's to your Illumination!