So you’re not on your A-game today, huh? It’s hard coming back from a holiday; instead of feeling rested you just feel fried (and perhaps broke), your kids woke you up like 5 times last night, your spouse doesn’t seem to appreciate how hard you work, or it just seems like your work is in vain.
The reality is, not every day is going to be your best. Every day can’t be your birthday, and you accepted that many years ago. Now accept that on some days, you’re going to wake up at 5am with your sneakers already tied, run a quick ten miles, then French press some coffee while you solve global warming.
Then… there’s today. Not feelin’ it. Not motivated. Coffee tasted terrible, overslept, traffic’s terrible and you forgot your laptop at home.
On the days when you need a little extra to make it work, here are a few methods that can help snap you out of it.
- Physical Activity – If I had to name one of these tactics as the Snap-Out-Of-It-Method team captain, it would be this one. It gets your blood flowing, and gives you time to think. Your body is occupied, and your mind is free to roam: to ponder, to consider, to process and decompress. I find that my subconscious usually kicks and does some phenomenal problem-solving. Seriously, if you have to choose one item on here, THIS IS IT! Go for a walk, or a jog, climb a hill or run a trail, get your swell on down at Gold’s, or do 50 jumping jacks in your cubicle. In short, MOVE!
- Mediation/Prayer – Frankly, you should be incorporating this into your daily routine in some way, regardless, but it can really help you snap out of it. For this to be truly helpful, you have to do it with purpose. Get somewhere that you can be uninterrupted for at least 10 minutes. Turn off your phone or leave it in the other room. Same goes for your computer. Get truly quiet and give yourself some time alone with your thoughts. Me personally, as part of my morning routine, I take a brief time of prayer, focusing on how I am viewing people and recognizing the opportunity and need to serve people.
- Count your blessings – It’s certainly not a new concept, and can be a bit corny, but the practice of gratitude has never let me down. It can be as simple as actually listing off your blessing, or you can get a little more creative and try something like writing a letter to someone expressing your appreciation for them in your life. Either way, you’re shifting the focus from your inward preoccupation and frustration, to an outward orientation. Gratitude helps you transition from victim to victor.
- Work ON your business – There’s a difference between working in your business and working on your business. Working in your business is reacting, it’s solving short-term problems and responding immediately to needs that feel pressing. Working in your business is necessary, but it can trap you at times and keep you short-sighted.Working on your business transports you to a broader scope—you’re building long-term systems, you’re planning, you’re growing and increasing in knowledge. When you’re working on your business, you’re shaping and creating your future. The point is, take a break from reacting and putting out fires, and engage your creative brain.
- Affirmations – I do this every morning. It’s simple and valuable. Your words and your thoughts are powerful. Write down, say aloud, or think through a statement about what you will do in the future. Use your name, and do it a set number of times. (i.e. “I, Brian Bandas, will be married to my awesome wife until the day I die at age 105.”) What I like about this, is that my confidence in my ability to accomplish what I’m affirming steadily increases throughout the exercise. To clarify, this isn’t The Secret. It’s not about magically saying something enough that the universe drops a Ferrari on you out of the clear blue sky. Do affirmations automatically result in success? I don’t think so. But I do know that successful people practice affirmations.
BONUS: Breathe – This one’s easy. I used to do this before practicing guitar. Inhale slowly, counting to 7. Hold it in while counting to 8. Exhale slowly while counting to 9. Do this 5 to 10 times. You’ll be blown away at how this clears your mind!
When your day starts with about ten snooze buttons, milk gone bad and dull headache, take a few minutes to use some of these methods to hit ‘Reset’ on your day.