Do you have this driving need to pretty much always be getting things done?
Tell me if this sounds familiar-
It’s Friday afternoon and you’ve been hard-charging all week, or for two weeks, or maybe for the entire month. But right now, at this moment, you’re sitting at your desk, or your kitchen table and you have completely lost all of your drive and your creativity.
Your motivation got put in some kind of Acme safe and the Wile Coyote threw it off a cliff, and there it goes and you just can’t think of a single thing to do.
You can’t get motivated and your frustration is mounting because you are a hard-charging person and you really want to get things done. You’re getting frustrated and the more frustrated you get, the less you can remember what your goals were. It’s like a cycle and you can’t get out of it.
You’re not getting anything done and you’re just sitting there, staring at a computer screen with a little flashing cursor, or at a blank piece of paper and what do you do?
Well, stick around because I have a simple process that’s going to help you deal with this particular problem. Let’s talk about it.
Take Time Off
Today my tip is take some time off. It’s not as simple as that though. That sounds very simple.
Taking time off to get motivated, taking time off to rest, it’s not as simple for some of us. It is going to need some conversation and some of you are going to need some convincing.
It’s not just that you need to take time off in order to get motivated. In order to achieve things you need to give yourself permission to take time off. You need to tell yourself that it’s okay, that it’s acceptable, that you can live with it, that you can still be happy if you’re not hard charging at it.
Now for some of you, you’re going to say great, I’m going to take some time off! I’m going to go down to the lake. I’m going to go fishing, have a couple beers, or I’m going to go to Vegas and gamble and sleep in late. It’s going to be wonderful and I’ll wake up on Monday and be totally recharged.
Great, I’m glad for you people, that’s fantastic. I am NOT one of those people.
I’m talking to all those overachievers out there, specifically those people who have a really hard time setting things down and taking a break. Because I know when I say, “You need to take some time off”.
You’re thinking, “No, I don’t. I just need to buckle down. I need to work harder. I need to get up earlier, or stay up later, or both. I need to drink more coffee and I need to chain myself to my desk, and periodically hit myself with a board so I am not weak, or lazy.”
Well you are NOT weak, or lazy, or an underachiever, or any kind of mean, nasty thing that you could think of for wanting to take some time off.
Rest = Your Best Ideas
It’s smart to take breaks when you exercise. You can’t do bicep curls every single day and expect to have biceps that are out to here, it doesn’t work that way. Your muscles get fatigued. They don’t have a chance to heal, and grow and you won’t have the results that you want.
It’s the same thing with your brain. Your brain is like a muscle. You have to exercise it, you have to use it but you have to let it rest sometimes. Sometimes it needs a Saturday morning where you’re just going to do nothing but stare at the hummingbird feeder and watch if something shows up. That’s okay, that’s when your brain can recharge and that’s probably also when you’ll get your best ideas.
I get my best ideas when I’m not doing anything, when I’m just totally zoned out. Anybody else like that? Like I said, this doesn’t mean you’re lazy.
This doesn’t mean that you are not worthy of whatever special metal you give yourself at night when you’ve worked from dawn till dusk or beyond and you are just exhausted. “Yes, I left it all behind me. I did it all. I conquered this day.”
You can still be that way. You can crawl forward at a snail’s pace in this kind of frustrating, “I don’t know what to do, I’m just mad and I’m not really getting anything done kind of way” that I described at the beginning of this post. Or you can take a break, go under a tree and take a nap.
If you have time, check out my video Accept That You Need To Take Time Off To Recharge. Make sure that you subscribe to my YouTube channel while you’re there.
Recover Your Motivation
Chill out for a day, let your brain repair itself, let your motivation recover and then wake up the next day or two days later. Then all of a sudden you’re running at a hundred miles an hour again and everything’s fine and that mile or two you that you only would have gone in that entire frustrating weekend, you will have surpassed that in the first half an hour of work- after you’ve given yourself permission to take a break. But you have to give yourself permission. You have to tell yourself it’s okay.
If you’re sitting around feeling guilty about it that won’t work, because now you’re just replacing one problem for another problem. When you find yourself with clenched fists, staring at nothing with all of these goals kind of circling around you like a vortex and you feel bad about not getting them done- unclench your fists, put your pencil down, shut off your computer and walk away. Go watch a movie, go take a bath, go do something else. Give yourself a break, say it’s okay.
I’m going to leave you with a quote. This is a direct quote, this is something I think of all the time because I do burn the candle at both ends and you probably do too. The saying goes, “You can’t burn the candle at both ends”. Well, I disagree with that-
So when the wax starts dripping down from this end, you just need to turn it, and you need to take that break and you need to be cognizant of it. You need to tell yourself I do need to get this rest. I do need to take a moment here and keep spinning this candle right. I can burn it at both ends but I’ve got to take a break every now and again. I’ve got to force myself to do it.
I have problems with it. Let me know if you have problems with it.
Leave me a comment, let me know if this works out for you. I hope it does, I have to struggle with myself all the time to take breaks and quite frankly to let my family take breaks. I hope this helps you.
Thanks for reading. There’ll be more.