Have you ever had one of those days where you feel as if you are banging your head against an invisible brick wall? As if there is an invisible barrier between you and the productive, accomplished day you long (or need) to have?
I’m in the middle of one.
It didn’t start out this way though. I woke up and moved into my day with feelings of satisfaction, until I sat down to write. I literally worked through about 5 different topics within the space of over 3 hours and…nothing. Not a single usable piece of writing. All of a sudden my productive day came to a screeching halt.
Have you ever been there? Wanting to do something, wanting to move forward and feeling blocked, stuck, cut-off?
So, the question is this: When these times come, what can you do to get out of them? Here’s what I’ve tried today:
- Take a break. When I realized I had been pushing for over three hours and… nothing, I decided to stop. It wasn’t that I was quitting, but that I was walking away to get a fresh perspective. When we stop doing what’s causing us frustration we give ourselves the opportunity to determine why we are so frustrated and seek additional help (if necessary).
- Assess your personal needs. When I closed my computer I realized I was hungry and a bit lonely (I had been holed up in my office all day while my kiddos were in the other room). Being hungry, angry, lonely or tired (H.A.L.T) can definitely interfere with productivity. Take the time to asses your own needs and tend to them as needed.
- Do something else. Because I was hungry, I made lunch. Because I was lonely I went to hang out with my kids. Giving my mind a break from “doing” so I could take care of my needs gave me new energy to try again. You could also take a walk, move on to another item on your list, or call a friend.
- Change your environment. I love my office, but sometimes it can feel claustrophobic and a bit cold. After I’d taken care of my needs I brought my computer out and began to write while in my living room while my kiddos chatted away. The noise was just enough to get me out of my head and into writing. Maybe for you its moving into a conference room with a view, heading into a coffee shop, or moving outside.
- Try again. Just because I didn’t get my writing finished when I had planned, doesn’t mean I still can’t get it done. Taking a break, assessing my needs, doing something else, and changing my environment all gave me the opportunity to hit “restart” and try again. The result? This post!
There will be days when we are productive and days when it feels as if we can get nothing done. Either way, no day is ever wasted. They may be derailed for a while, but if we chose to stop forcing something to happen on our time table, and instead allow our day to unfold around us, we can make any day feel productive and accomplished.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT
Join the conversation: So, when these days happen what do you do?