We all have off days from time to time. Sometimes they’re more frequent than others. Maybe that was how 2020 or 2021 seemed to go for you. Either way, it’s not fun to feel down and lethargic, but you don’t have to get discouraged about it.
It’s natural to feel like not working on your goals some days. In times like this you may need to take a break depending on how burnt out you feel. But sometimes what you need is to just start going and you’ll get the motivation from the work itself.
Sometimes you may feel like having a day when you’re distracted means you’re lazy. But don’t jump to conclusions so fast. Are you normally a hard worker but lately you’ve just felt exhausted and can’t focus? If so, you’re not lazy, you just need a break! Don’t be afraid to take one, you’ll come back feeling better than ever.
To know how long of a break to take, consider how external circumstances have affected you over the last day, week, month, or year. If you’ve had a lot going on in the last year, for instance, as was the case in 2020, then it might be time for a longer break. But if the year hasn’t been too bad but the last week has been tough then you may just need a nice relaxing weekend.
Divide Up Your Time to Get Resets
If your day seems to be going off track, imagine it’s divided into four quarters:
Step back and examine the day as a whole. If you’ve struggled in the morning or midday, recognize that you haven’t lost all four quarters. Make a new plan and start fresh in the next quarter of the day.
This works on the scale of a week, month, and even year. One bad day, week, month, or year doesn’t mean the next four of that same time period have to go the same way.
Go Easy On Yourself (Which Sometimes Means Just Getting Started)
Imagine how you feel before starting your morning exercise. It can feel pretty crummy to think about the hard work and sweat ahead of you.
But consider, instead, how it feels once you’ve started. I know I feel great when I’m in the middle of a run. And it’s the same for writing, working, and everything else I have to do that I don’t want to do at first.
“It is easier to act yourself into a new way of thinking, than it is to think yourself into a new way of acting.” — Millard Fuller
You will feel better if you start going than if you sit and just try to think your way through a difficult feeling of not wanting to work.
Sometimes, though, you need to spend work time on resting and recovering, and that’s okay. You are the tool with which you work on your goals and dreams. By taking the time for adequate recuperation, you sharpen your saw so that you can be as effective as possible.
And to avoid times of burnout, always make sure you’re getting adequate rest throughout each day! Take 5-10 minute breaks each hour, spend time engaging in activities that you enjoy that have nothing to do with work, and get enough sleep.
A lot of the time it’s hard to feel like working on your goals. But you don’t need to be so hard on yourself about it. Take the time to rest or just start working and you’ll feel better almost instantly.