Unproductive and Down? Three Tips to Pick You Up

Do you have a need to be productive during the week? If you have an off day where you don’t get much done, do you judge yourself harshly? I do. I can drive myself to tears over not knowing what to do next to be optimally productive.

Here are three tips I use myself to keep things in perspective when I start to feel the tears pricking my eyes:

  1. Remember that this really doesn’t matter in the big picture. This is just one day. In fact, it’s only one aspect of one day. We’re spinning around in a infinite universe, one species out of who knows how many, really, when you consider the possibility of life on other planets or in other universes. This little delay is nothing to get upset about.
  2. Review what you’ve accomplished in the past few days. Maybe that will provide you with the feeling of achievement you’re craving. If you have your achievements written down, this tip should work pretty well. But if you don’t have a written record, you may only remember 1/3 of what you accomplished and end up feeling worse. So try this one accordingly.
  3. You are doing your job right if you are able to intercede between all of the random thoughts that come up in your brain that you can’t control (like “I’m not doing my job well.”) and where you choose to direct your focus and energy. Consider *that* separation between random thought and focus to be your number one job. If you can manage that, you can put a gold star on today. And, of course, the first place to display that skill is to separate your focus and energy from the thought, “I’m not doing job well.”

These three tips worked for me today. They even allowed me to give myself a break this afternoon and enjoy leisurely activities when I just wasn’t up to meeting my own standards at work.

Let me know in the comments what thoughts stop you cold as you go about your day.