I used to be a believer in the idea that if you didn’t know what to do, then you should do nothing. This mentality stemmed from the fact that you shouldn’t make brash decisions when you don’t have the right answer. And in some ways, this still holds true – making hasty decisions doesn’t generally serve anyone well. However, doing nothing doesn’t really help you either.
If you’re faced with a tough decision, if you’re overwhelmed with an assignment, if you’re going through relationship woes, or whatever your troubles may be, you will have to make decisions…and they won’t be easy ones to make.
I’m now a firm believer in the fact that taking your mind off the subject at hand will in turn help you resolve the issue more quickly than spending hours and hours dwelling over the problem until you come up with some solution. Continue reading “Touch your nose and make a decision”→
Maybe you’ve been in a funk for a few days and can’t find the way back to your normal self. You HAVE a goal in mind (to write your resume, finish that article, turn in your highly procrastinated work assignment), but you just don’t know how to get on the right track with a positive mindset.
These are the techniques I put into play when I find myself in this abysmal corner of writer’s block torture. Hopefully one will work for you to help you get back to your hardworking, mentally healthy, inspired, positive, creative self!
Find a change of scenery
My go-to places for getting things done lately have been my room in my apartment, or a coffee shop down the street. Generally, switching it up between those two places has been sufficient enough for me to be at least semi-productive. However, that hasn’t been the case lately…
I was feeling in need of a change, and as soon as I found one, I was immediately transitioned into a more positive mindset. If you always work from the same place, try changing it up a bit! It could be as simple as switching chairs to a new spot across the room, to something more effort intense, like packing up your things and relocating to a free Wi-Fi friendly public place. Find something that works for you, and remember to spice it up every now and again to keep the creative juices flowing!
Listen to this
I won’t tell you how many times I’ve watched this clip, because I will be judged for it. But this has not stopped inspiring me since I discovered it a few years ago, and I still occasionally turn to it for a little guidance.
Turn off EVERYTHING
Turn off every electronic you own, and sit in silence for 10 minutes to let your mind wander (yes, it sounds a little bit hippie-ish, but trust me, it works). Distractions are the worst, unless you just need a mental break, then they can be the best. But in this case, do yourself a favor and get rid of them! 10 minutes to unplug will rejuvenate you, and it will feel like a fresh start.
Refocus your goal
Take a step back, and focus on the original task…maybe you’re stumped because you’re losing track of the finish line. If you’ve been working to come up with a creative idea, and you have been bouncing back and forth between one thought to another without taking a minute to organize your head, it’s easy to lose site of the mission. I’m constantly coming up with article ideas, tweaking them little-by-little, and then tweaking them some more. Before I realize it, my original goal has been completely lost, leaving me with a terrible failure for my intended direction … The best thing to do when you get off track is to go back to square one, simplify your task, and take off from there with a refocused state of mind.
Eat these foods
Livestrong posted a list of mental power foods, and it’s definitely true that your diet can affect your brain functionality! My personal favorites are blueberries, almond anything, and, jackpot… dark chocolate made the list, as well!
What methods do you use to get out of your mental funk and back on the track toward success?
Before writing this, I spent at least an hour trying to write one sentence on a topic that has nothing to do with this one. Why? Because I allowed distractions to get the best of me until I finally left the room and found a quiet place to focus.
I’ve had the idea to start a new personal project for a while now, and when I decided that I was going to start this blog, I knew that I would have to set aside ample time each week to really shut off the world and focus on my priorities.
Well, this is much easier said than done when you’re living with two awesome roommates, learning about D.C.’s love for holiday parties and happy hours, letting friends stay with you while they’re in town for job interviews, working a full-time job, and making time for a social life all at once.
LIFE HAS DISTRACTIONS.
Not that I don’t love these distractions, but sometimes, something’s gotta give.
They are inevitable, and something will ALWAYS get in the way if you let it. The only way to conquer these interruptions is to learn how to work around them and to be serious about your priorities. It’s so easy to tell yourself that you will just do it later, but what happens when another distraction kills your “later?” Obvious answer: if you give in to those tiny distractions, you’ll never accomplish your goals, or you’ll just do them half-assed.
If you have a vision, whether it be finishing an article for your blog, completing graduate school applications, working on a resume to get that job you’ve been desperately hoping for, or finishing up a deadline for your already existing career, the best thing you can do for yourself is to knock out the distractions right away.
Here are my suggestions to get you through those obnoxious disturbances that keep you from achieving your goals:
Put in headphones. Even if you’re the kind of person who needs total silence when you work, if you put in headphones, people will assume you’re listening to music, and they will generally not try to talk to you. You get your silence, and they don’t get offended that you won’t carry on a fully engaged conversation. Everybody wins!
Close out Facebook. This one gets me every time – I don’t know what it is about that little red notification from Hell, but if I see it, I’ll easily get sucked into browsing through my friends’ updates for at least 20 minutes at a time. It’s best to just not have it open at all.
Go to a coffee shop with free Wi-Fi if you have distractions at home. This one is a little tricky depending on the kind of environment you need to thrive in. Personally, I can focus in a crowded coffee shop filled with 50 strangers better than I can focus in my own apartment with just two people in the room.
I just checked my Facebook. I guess I’ll suggest re-reading rule number two if you’re anything like me.
Set mini goals for balancing your time. If you really cannot focus for longer than 30 minutes at a time, then tell yourself that once you work for 30 minutes straight, you can take a five-minute snack or coffee break. If you divide up your time into sections, it makes getting your task accomplished much more reasonable because it gives you a smaller goal to work toward, and ultimately makes it seem less daunting.
Turn off your phone. Seriously – just because Facebook is closed out on your browser does NOT mean that it’s off of your phone. Put it away to avoid phone calls, texts, Words with Friends, and asking Siri random irrelevant questions.
These are some of the things I badly need to work on… I’m terrible when it comes to allowing myself to be distracted and budgeting my time accordingly. How do you tune out the distractions in your world to get your goals accomplished?