Everything is going great. You’re driving down the highway we call life and your projects are moving along swimmingly, your goals are approaching faster and faster as you press down on the accelerator.
Suddenly, the engine stutters, there seems to be a loss of power. You glance down at the dashboard and see that the fuel gauge is pointing to E. You’ve run out of gas.
Sound familiar? If so, then this post is for you.
We’ve all been hit by the sporadic slump. When it feels like your drive for success has faltered. You just don’t want to do anything. We don’t know why or when exactly it happened, but it did happen and now we are stuck in it.
- Focus – Many slips into a slump are the result of being overwhelmed with just too many things going on at the same time. This feeling can be canceled out with a string of small achievements. Just make a list of the things you need to get done, prioritize the list, and then focus on completing one thing at a time. Crossing off items from a to-do list is a great way to get motivated again. Once again, I highly recommend the Three Lists of Three method as it allows for deeper focus on a specific task without the risk of an overflowing list.
- Exercise – I’ve written about the productivity increasing benefits of exercise before in 5 Lifestyle Changes To Make You Feel Great and Be More Productive and 11 Solid Ways to Enhance Your Memory. Here is another opportunity. Whenever I fall out of my exercise routine, I see myself fall out of other routines in my life as well. Exercise is a great way to uplift your mood. Exercise has a positive effect on four of the main chemicals of the brain the effect mood: Serotonin, Epinephrine, Dopamine, and Endorphin. So get up, go for a walk or run. Lift some weights. Go bowling. You’ll get a mood-boost and feel much better. This is one of the best ways to break out of a slump and you won’t regret it.
- Accept The Slump For What It Is – Remember that a slump is just that: a slump. If you feel that you’ll never recover from your slump, then you’ll have a much more difficult time actually doing it! Remember that motivation waxes and wanes like the moon. Sometimes its there in all its glowing, bright majesty, other times, it’s seemingly nonexistent, replaced with a black nothingness. But it is really always out there somewhere and it always returns.
- Get Out – No use lying around the house feeling melancholy. Work up the drive to get out and do something. Visit a friend or family member. Take a significant other out to dinner. Go down to a local park with a bag of charcoal and grill up a meal. Getting out of the house and into the sunlight will have an uplifting effect on your mood and help to pull you out of the slump.
- Talk About It – Grab a buddy or relative of yours with whom you can talk about your problems. Sometimes just talking about your problems helps your brain to organize and prioritize all the tasks you have on your plate. This will help to dissolve the “overwhelming feeling” that often accompanies many slumps. Once you do away with that feeling, you’re soon to do away with your slump.
- Do Not Give Up – As a corollary to number 3, do not give up your goals. Remember that it’s just a slump and it’ll pass. Keep your goals in the forefront of your mind and remind yourself of what you want to accomplish. Perhaps write them down in big letters and pin it up on the wall above your desk. Try to remember the passion you once felt about your goals and take a few minutes out of everyday to reread your goals and remember why you want to reach them.
- Brush Up On Your Time Management – Enhancing your time management skills will help you deal with an inundation of tasks. You’ll be able to get more done with less time, be able to cross more things off your list quickly, and just invite feelings of accomplishment faster than normal. Here is a list of 11 Tips to Increase Your Time Management Skills that should serve you well in this endeavor.
- Clean Up Your Place – Take some time to clean your home. For many people, there is nothing like a clean home to inspire motivation. A cluttered and disorganized living-quarter can definitely be the cause of a lack of drive. If you find that your dwelling is a little more messy than normal, pick up clutter, put things back in their place, grab a broom and sweep up.
- Clean Up Your Body – Sometimes when we are lacking motivation, we lose the drive to keep ourselves clean! Take a shower, brush your teeth, comb your hair, shave, and put on some fresh clothes. Do whatever that you do to make yourself feel attractive and presentable. It is said that how one looks is a direct representation of how one feels about oneself. You’d be amazed at how much feeling clean and looking respectable can pick up your mood.
- Stop Planning – Many people in a slump are stuck in a state of “analysis paralysis.” They spend their time worrying or planning instead of actually doing. So much effort and thought is put into perfecting their next action as to not waste time or energy that when the time comes to actually make a move, they have no time or energy left! This puts them further in the slump and makes it even more difficult to recover. Don’t let this happen to you. Make a move, do it now.
When all is said and done, remember that you will recover. Slumps are unavoidable, but no slump is permanent. Try implementing these 10 tips and you’ll see that your next slump will be much shorter than normal.
Image by basykes