I’ll admit it, everyone. Sometimes keeping up with all that you want to do in this world is just not that easy. Especially when it comes to creating what you really want. Creating your own business is a LOT of work. A lot of “above-and beyond” that those who aren’t on the same path as you are might not understand. And you might also be managing that plus family, friends, life, maintaining both health and sanity, and often times managing a day job as you get started.  Sometimes it can feel like swimming in jello. Like you’re thrashing around, not getting anywhere, and getting all messy in the process. And that the odds are never in your favor….

What do I mean? Well, sometimes it can seem that the “to dos” are a ten-armed octopus, a mythical creature of your own creation with extra arms for extra tasks JUST in case you get bored. There is so much that needs to get done in order to start and run a “successful” business. (Whatever that really means to you.) Too much that you have to do for yourself (since when it’s your show, as a business is, nobody else is going to do it for you!) too many responsibilities, too many experts telling you every moment of every day what you “gotta” do (and RIGHT NOW!) or your business will be a colossal flop. And that’s not even taking into account the constant barrage of everything else in the world. The news. The TV. The internet. And Social Media….OH, where do I begin with the level of distraction that comes from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, just to name the big three?? (Perhaps the greatest love/hate relationship in all of our lives, that Social Media Monster, right?)

All of it can make you feel like you just want to crash. Especially when you’re new to this all, if you’re working on perfecting your idea and your plan, or are in any way unsure of where you want your business ideas to go, it can be especially discouraging. Maybe you’re struggling with something that for whatever reason just isn’t happening. Maybe you see where everyone else is and find yourself wishing that you were “further along” (again, whatever that means!).  Or maybe you keep putting off the day that you finally take your business dreams seriously, thinking “maybe I’ll be more ready tomorrow” (or something like that!) just to avoid facing the big….hulking…task that getting started seems to be.

No matter where you happen to be on the business and life journey, this kind of “vapor lock” of the soul can get to you. Sometimes a person can feel this kind of overwhelm more so than other times.

I’ve gotta say that for me, this week is one of those times. And it is accompanying what is a time of great growth and change in my world. Awesome stuff, to be sure….but easy? Not a chance!

It happens to everyone. That gnawing feeling that you just don’t want to do anything. It has all become too much. And all that sounds good is just disconnecting, checking out, forgetting it all for a very…..long….time.

Of course, you don’t really want to do that, not forever, anyway!. But it sure can feel like that sometimes. And sometimes when you hit this kind of wall, what you really DO need is time to pop in that USB cable and get the energy back up again. Then again, maybe that’s not it at all. Maybe you just need to suck it up, put on your running shoes and just get moving. Now.

But how do you know whether you really need a rest or just a swift kick in the pants?

Something tells me that you already know the answer to that, truth to tell. Give yourself a moment and ask yourself honestly–am I just burnt out or do I need to light a new fire?

What answer do you get? Anything?

If you aren’t convinced one way or the other by what your mind, body, and soul are telling you, though, here’s a little trick I like to use from my personal training days (that I still use now at the gym, on the long-run course, and in my business): the 10-minute rule. Hardly rocket science. Not particularly innovative or ground-breaking. But effective.

Here goes:

-Pick a task, any task. What is one thing that you believe you need to do today? Is possibly get started on a blog post or a video shoot? Make a few phone calls to prospective clients? Sit down and balance your checkbook and other such administrative infrastructure stuff? Finally download that Periscope app? (Something I need to do myself!) I don’t care what it is as long as it has some relevance to the end goal (in our case being the building of your dream business).

-Go Set The Timer. It could be on your iPhone, your microwave, an old-fashioned bell timer, anything. (I’m a big fan of timeanddate.com and their alarms–great when you’re doing computer work!) Set it for 10 minutes. Go and do it now. Just 10 minutes.

-Just get going. It’s only 10 minutes. Seriously, that’s all. Start writing. Turn on the camera and start talking. Pick up the phone and dial. Whatever. I don’t care. Just turn off all other distractions other than what you’re doing and go all-out for 10 minutes.

-How Does It Feel Now? After the alarm goes off, do a quick reassessment. How do you feel? Energized? Ready to keep going? On a surprising roll with things? Still going right through the alarm as though it didn’t happen? That’s great, that means you’ve gotten past a big ol’ block in your way and you’re getting after it after all. Keep going. Reset the alarm, this time for 20 minutes. See how it goes after that.

But what if after a heroic 10-minute effort it still feels….painful and tiresome? As though you’re glad that you took the initiative and at least did something but….you’re still feeling like cold toast?

Don’t worry. It happens. There are days when you really need a good, hard, solid workout to reset your inner-self and revive. It’ll make you feel like a whole new person. But there are other days when it really IS all too much and you just need to unplug. If you’ve given it about 10 minutes of concentrated effort and you find yourself still about to go off the deep end of sanity, relax. Put the computer down. Silence the phone for a while. For the love of God, get off of Facebook. Get outside or go read a book. Preferably something completely unrelated to business. Take some time to recharge.

It doesn’t mean quit. It doesn’t mean chuck all of your dreams and go back to the corporate job (or whatever it is that you’re moving away from). It just means take care of yourself for a while. Unplugging is hard to do, I know. But give it a go for a while. Let the day go on as it will and dare to do nothing for just a bit.

It might be that the “I want to work again” feeling might be arising on its own before too long. Maybe it will come in a few hours. Maybe even a day or so. But if you take a few moments (or even a few days) to refresh, you might find yourself surprised at how it feels when your muse returns–it just might be stronger, more productive, and more inspired than it was to start with.

Struggling at all this week? Or have you ever before? Ever given this method a try? I invite you to use it when you need to and see what happens! So tell me, what are YOUR favorite ways of busting out of funks and getting the spark back in your work? I’d love to hear about it!

 

 

8 Comments on How To Blast Out of A Funk and Get Things Done (Or, What To Do When Your “Girl On Fire” Is Burnt Out)

  1. Merri
    August 12, 2015 at 11:32 am (2 years ago)

    Excellent question and asked on a timely fashion! I like to follow my Mom’s advice ..,, She always told me to “run around in the garden and sing a song” when I’d get grumpy about life ….little did she probably realize the “why” of how that worked , but it did ! And still does — exercise and singing! Great combo !! 😋

    Reply
    • Jennifer
      August 12, 2015 at 9:01 pm (2 years ago)

      One of my favorite things to get moving, gardens and songs! 🙂 love it!

      Reply
  2. Maggie
    August 12, 2015 at 3:11 pm (2 years ago)

    Love this idea about not letting procrastination be the boss of me. 10 minutes I can do. Setting my timer on my phone now (it’s got a lovely chime when it goes off, so it’s a great reminder to be present).

    My favorite way to lose my funk: talk a walk. When I get outside and breathe fresh air, something changes in me metabolically. And it really just takes 10 minutes, too!

    Reply
    • Jennifer
      August 12, 2015 at 9:00 pm (2 years ago)

      Yes, sometimes all it does take is just a few minutes…and what a difference that can make! 🙂

      Reply
  3. Mallory
    August 16, 2015 at 2:58 pm (2 years ago)

    Yes! Sound advise, all of it. Two that are biggies for me: “Get off facebook!” It is a total time suck, energy drainer and mojo killing waste of time (even if I need to be on a little bit for my online business-I still have to set a timer and move on!) Also working out always helps me get out of my head and into my body. I am way more productive when I am not trying to force things to happen. Thanks for the tips and reminders! xx

    Reply
    • Jennifer
      August 16, 2015 at 4:58 pm (2 years ago)

      Of course, Mallory! And you are absolutely right, too–it really does help to put time limits on the things that you know will be both time and energy sucks. And getting out into the world for any kind of movement (especially a good workout) is also a great “reset” for the system. 🙂

      Reply
  4. Conny
    August 17, 2015 at 2:33 pm (2 years ago)

    Swimming in Jello, that made me chuckle. My husband and I live on acreage and have animals, so if all gets too much, I go out there and hug and smell the horses, or watch the geese and ducks (better than tv). I might putter in the garden or sit at the pond and read for half an hour. This gets me back to reality and that all works out the way it is supposed to

    Reply
    • Jennifer
      August 17, 2015 at 11:19 pm (2 years ago)

      Yes, just being outdoors and away from all the electric boxes really has a therapeutic effect, doesn’t it? And it doesn’t even have to be too long of a time outside to really help, sometimes even just poking your head out the door, I’ve found!

      Reply

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