It's not that life never gets in the way. It's just that our minds get in the way more often!
We can all think of examples, I'm sure, when our minds kept us from doing something we knew we needed to do. Maybe we made excuses to ourselves. Maybe we couldn't seem to focus. Maybe we just didn't feel like it anymore. I'm so guilty of all of this.
Gretchen Rubin (yes, I'm bring her up again!) wrote in her book, "Better Than Before," something that I think deserves a lot of attention:
“An overflowing in-box seems like a trivial thing - and it is trivial - yet an orderly environment makes me feel more in control of myself. If this is an illusion, it's a helpful illusion." (Emphasis added)
If something is helping you, it doesn't matter if it "should" make a difference. The fact that it does is what matters. Very simply put, be #smart - do the things that work.
“If this is an illusion, it's a helpful illusion.”
There are so many "illusions" we can take advantage of to our benefit. We are all unique, so what works for me may not work for you. But here are some very simple, practical starting points that have been invaluable to me, and I know can be invaluable to you! They are at least worth a shot!
1. Orderly Environment
I truly believe that most people work better in an orderly environment. Don't write this one off if you don't like cleaning or organizing. You don't have to. That literally has nothing to do with whether or not an orderly environment helps you focus and feel more motivated and happy. Try spending 1.5 minutes clearing off your desk before you start your work and then tell me if it didn't help.
2. Dress How You Want To Feel
I can't resist another Gretchen Rubin reference. She points out that "although we think that we act because of the way we feel, in fact, we often feel because of the way we act." How true is that?!
So wear the clothes that actually make you feel like the person you're striving to be.
This includes #comfort, so don't freak out. Keep your personal style, and don't hate the way you're dressing. Just remember that if you're feeling unmotivated and you're still in pajamas, there's something very easy you can do to help.
Not to a new house. I mean move your arms and legs. I'm not even talking about a full workout (although it's not a bad idea). Just let go of that for a minute. A good stretch, or 3 lunges, or 2 squats and a jumping jack are sometimes all you need to completely change the way you are feeling. Try it out! See if I'm wrong!
4. Turn On Mood Music
If you just don't like music, forget this one. But when a project I need to tackle feels a little overwhelming, I play music that makes me feel tough and strong. It's a lot easier to tackle the project if I feel like I can take on the world. If it gives you the energy you're looking for, you can use it to give you an enormous boost when you need it. Again, and illusion? Yes. But a helpful one.
5. Atmosphere And Surroundings
If I need to to write something and I'm "just not feeling it," I like to go to the #library, where there are other people working on their computers. Something about the fact that everyone else is doing it makes it easier for me to do. You may not be writing, but tackling things in an environment where it "makes sense" can be extremely helpful.
6. Take A Shower
Seriously, try it. It doesn't matter what time it is, or if you "need" a shower. You know that refreshing feeling of being clean? Tap into that, and let it give you the mind reset that you need right then! And no, you don't have to get your hair wet. It will still help.
Have you tried any of these in the past? Did they work for you? Please tell me, I would love to know!