Mondays are productivity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
Did you ever get the feeling that all of our work toward organization, productivity and simplicity had come to a standstill? Or not only that you had stopped making progress, but that you had slid back into old habits?
We all have periods of backsliding. The trick is what you do about them to get back into productive, organized living.
The first thing has to be an awareness that you are not at your peak performance level. Ask yourself these questions:
- Have I started misplacing things?
- Have I started missing appointments, or showing up on the wrong day or time?
- Do I feel completely overwhelmed or like I’ll never get it all done?
- Do I feel stressed out and out of sorts?
(Of course, if you haven’t gotten to the point where this is not the norm, I would direct you to my Getting Started caategory.)
Once you recognize that you have stepped out of your usual groove, you can make progress. But don’t jump into fixing things right away!
Accept Your Position
The problem with jumping straight from Awareness into Action is that you might start frantically thrashing around and making things worse. For instance, when I feel overwhelmed and stressed out, my first instinct is to work harder. But we are all familiar with the saying, “Work smarter, not harder,” and this takes acceptance.
Accept that you have gotten off track for a little while, and that this is not a permanent state. Now that you have identified that this is temporary, you can think through what the realities are.
What has pushed you off track? Is it a temporary rush at work? Or is it that you committed to doing too many things? Are you misplacing things because you are thinking about other things? Or because you aren’t putting things away in their proper spot, thinking you’ll do it later?
Each symptom of non-productivity is going to have some cause that you can identify. And once you identify the cause, you can find the smartest way to get through it.
Plan and Take Action
If you were climbing up a hill and a boulder had fallen across the train, you wouldn’t expend your energy trying to move it out of the way. You would look around, check your options, and go around it. It is the same with productivity issues.
You now know that there is a problem, and what is likely causing it, you can work on a solution. The trick here is to work smarter, not harder. Pick the best way to get around the obstacle so you can move on.
Example: you have started misplacing your keys every day. Solution: find a new spot for them, and make putting your keys there the first thing to do when you walk in the door.
Example: you have missed three appointments because your schedule is on your computer. Solution: find a way to either carry your schedule with you, or to have your schedule remind you, say via text message to your phone, at the appropriate time.
By becoming aware of backsliding, then accepting what is going on, then making a plan and following it, you will find yourself back on track in no time!
Photo by puuikibeach