You used to be this productive person, full of energy, crushing goals and making things that look difficult so easy.
You were a dreamer and an achiever. Once you think it you get it done. But, these days you are just surviving and not in the mood to do anything.
You keep transferring your to-do lists from one day to another, then one week to another, and it adds up to months.
No strength to be Productive
The only thing you find yourself saying is: I used to be productive. This is not who I was before. At times it feels like you just don’t have the strength to be productive.
I know you have been trying to get out of the situation for a very long time, but it’s just not happening. When you finally get productive, it doesn’t last hours or days you’re back to square one. I see you! and I feel You!
This feeling can be really draining. You may feel the constant need to change your habits or routine in order to do better. It is also crippling because everything is happening right before your eyes and you can’t help yourself.
Even if you explain nobody seems to understand. Some think you are just being lazy. But you know something is wrong. Please just stop being hard on yourself, we’ve all been there.
It’s Not Procrastination, It’s a Productive issue!
This situation you are currently in is not procrastination. It is more of a feeling of overwhelm over a small task. It is called a Productivity or creativity rut.
It was more of a feeling of being disorganized and disoriented. The feeling of lack of direction and not knowing how to control it. when you wake up in the morning you just feel dark, everything looks blurred, you’re restless, and do not know what to start with.
It is okay to feel that way, but don’t stay there, keep trying to get out of the rut. Don’t spend most of your time complaining, begin to search for a way out of the rut actively.
You have to come to the conclusion that enough is enough. Sit down, discuss with yourself and analyze the problem in search of a way forward.
How to Gain Back Your Productive Self
1. Find The Root of the Matter
Most times we tend to treat the symptoms, and along the line burn out again. This time I need you to take the time and analyze why this is happening. Even if it means going offline, away from your phone and noisy environment. Just do it! You need it.
This is might be the most difficult time, to do this, but you need to have a serious conversation with yourself. Because once you are able, to be honest with yourself and face the monster. You will feel some sort of ease.
At times the problem could be a lack of confidence in yourself, fear of the unknown, or feeling a bit of anxiety to do the deed. And as days go by you have a lot to do that you get so overwhelmed.
Whatever it is for you. Just give yourself some space to think, reflect and come to a conclusion. My cousin would usually say “You are your best therapist”. So talk to yourself and if you feel you need a therapist to go for it if that would be of help.
2. Create a to-do list:
This may sound crazy but just sit down and make a master list of things you need to get done. Because lists really help a lot, it gets you committed to getting things done.
What’s important here is eliminating those feelings of overwhelm. Just write things down and don’t focus on how to finish them. And you’d be a few steps away from being productive.
Now look at that list without feeling overwhelmed and just do what you can. You do not have to do 5 to 10 tasks a day. Even if it is one task a day, You’ve won the battle for the day. No matter how small the task is.
Being Productive is not something that happens just like that. It is a process and you need to take it slow. If you rush it, you burn out. So take it slow and easy.
Stop trying to be everywhere at once. Stop trying to compare other people’s progress with yours. Take a deep breath and do things one after the other. You are not in a competition with anyone. In fact, you are just recovering.
3. Change your sleep Routine:
Most times what happens to me is that just when I plan to sleep early, a lot of things pop up. I end up sleeping late EVERY DAY. When you have a poor sleeping routine. You keep waking up late and feeling very unproductive and unfulfilled.
Seriously, Good sleep is critical to living a good life. Because poor sleep is slowly killing your body and brain. Make it a priority to sleep as early as possible, regardless of what needs to be done just SLEEP. You’d continue the next day if the Almighty spares your life.
This is difficult and I am still yet to master the art of sleeping early, but I am really trying my best. Try sticking to a consistent sleep cycle where you rise and fall at the same time every day. Your mind will be better for it, and you’ll start each day with a desire to get things done. You also wake up energized and well-rested.
4. Stop Negative self-talk:
I know you feel terrible for being lazy. And you keep telling yourself negative things that keep pulling you down. End those negative things you tell yourself and allow yourself to grow. Life is difficult when you don’t love and value yourself.
I have been beating myself up for being unproductive for the longest time. Until I finally decided to stop playing the victim and take responsibility. I used to slap labels on myself all the time. Saying things like: ” I am depressed”, “I am anxious”. Made me realize I was only defining myself by these feelings.
So That’s It!
Do not expect a miracle. You are Human, this will take you a couple of weeks or even months to master. I repeat: Take it nice and slow. The whole trick is to start small. Break it down, and handle them piece by piece. And don’t forget to focus on one thing at a time.
No amount of writing a To-do list will make you productive. Sometimes, you just have to sit down, gather your energy, and start something. But once you are able to follow the steps above diligently, it will give you a sense of focus and direction which is a good start. Try these steps, and I hope you will feel better about yourself as the day moves along.
Do you have any tips for times like these? What do you do when your energy and productivity level drop? Please share, let us learn and benefit from each other.