A lot of people feel like they always need to be productive. Kickstart their day, get things done, move forward and accomplish their goals fast and furious. But being productive is not always effective. In fact, being productive is not effective a lot of the times. Being busy does not necessarily mean that you are moving forward towards your goal in the best way.
When you’re feeling stuck and when you can’t decide what to do or how to do it, give yourself permission to let go, to be unproductive. Allow yourself to do one of the things in this post and you’ll end up being miraculously more productive instead.
What you first need is inspiration. Inspiration leads to greater and faster productivity. Inspiration is the first part of productivity, the doing is the second part. Make sure you got the first part right, before you start on the second.
I used to wake up early to start writing first thing in the morning. I would look at my computer screen and sometimes nothing would come out of it. I’ve seen mornings where I’d write three words down on paper and seen an hour go by. And sometimes I’d come up with an idea in the afternoon and I’d finish a complete blog post in an hour. That’s when you know inspiration is everything and leads to more effective productivity.
And it works not just for productivity. The same goes for, being stuck in life, when you don’t know what to decide. What should I be doing next? Do I need to go left or right? Should I quit or go ahead?
Just fuel your inspiration!
So whenever you feel unproductive, stuck or uninspired, go ahead, take it easy, let things go for a while, relax and try one of the following to get on top of your game:
Reading blogposts or a good book may feel like you’re squandering your time when you need to get things done, but sometimes it’s better to procrastinate or postpone. Reading will actually fuel your creative brain, giving you fresh input and new ideas. I prefer non-fiction. When you read, your mind is absorbing the content and after a while it wanders off. That’s when the creativity sets in. Inspiration comes, insights appear and with that the drive to make it happen. It will come back to you tenfold.
Have a cup of coffee with a friend, your partner or anybody who cares for you. Talk about what is on your mind and listen to their advice. Just by talking to someone you’ll come up with the solution by yourself or you’ll be handed one. Coffee leads to solutions and awareness.
The same goes for small talk with people. You know the times when you walk into someone and you really should have to get going, but this person has a lot to share with you and won’t let you go. You’ve stopped listening and all you think about is how you can get away from the conversation. The clock is ticking and your focus is on more important things to do.
But what if you would get out of your head and stop thinking about how to stop the conversation and actually listen to the person in front of you. Instead of small talk, start a real conversation. Learn from the person, be interested, ask questions, see if you can find similar interests. You may find yourself a new source of inspiration that could change your day.
The conversation could also interrupt your worries or tunnel vision thinking pattern you had just before you walked into the person. That alone is worth the interruption. The talk could break you free from your troublesome thoughts and set your mind up for new ideas and a more productive day.
Watch or listen
Watch an inspiring documentary or interview on Netflix or YouTube of someone you admire or can learn from. Listen to podcasts while lying down on your comfty couch. The best men and women in your skill field can provide you with a different or fresh look on things. Expand your knowledge and wisdom and gain a greater and new perspective on your work, life and relationships.
Go for a walk
Do you feel guilty for getting out of the house, because you wouldn’t be in productivity mode otherwise? Think again. Getting outside is one of the best ways to get the juice of productivity flowing. Take a walk alone and enjoy your surroundings (skip the shopping malls), look at that big beautiful sun, watch people chatting, go to a park or some quiet place and you can just wait for ideas to sparkle. Don’t forget to bring a small notebook and pen with you to write down whatever thoughts come to mind.
Exercise is also great for productivity. Exercise increases your heart rate, which pumps more oxygen to the brain. It also releases endorphins and other powerful chemicals in your brain that are not just good for your physical health but also your boost mental capacity. It provides you with the right ingredients to get you back on track. Get those push-ups going or go for a run.
Really nothing? Well okay, you always do something. But just sit down and look out of the window and enjoy whatever the view is. Maybe you’re looking at beautiful trees, people going by, cars driving, or just a plain wall. It doesn’t matter, inspiration can be drawn from everything. Just keep looking and your thoughts will take into a direction and guide you to where you need to be. Even if you feel like you’re not getting anywhere, you will be fuelling your energy and giving your mind the room and space to breath. Your subconsciousness is working on something you can not see yet, but will eventually take you to the next step. I call it invisible productivity.
Sleeping is thinking short and long term productivity. Without sleep or a shortage of sleep, inspiration will eventually run out. Taking a short nap when you feel unproductive will do miracles for you. It’s your fuel to get the greatest fire burning.
Meditating can seem like a huge waste of your productive time. But when you feel stuck or unmotivated, I encourage to meditate for 10 minutes. Focus solely on your breathing (breath in, breath out) and soon ideas will flow like a river and burst out of thin air. Be sure to have a pencil and a piece of paper right beside you when it happens. Write down whatever needs to be written down and get back to focus on your breathing. Wait for another wave of inspiration that will be send your way. Waste time with busyness or save time with meditation.
Next time you feel like procrastinating, do it! 😉