Well hello, January! Did the holidays and year-end wrap-ups leave you feeling a bit overstimulated? New Year fatigue can hit hard after the first few weeks. It can look like, wanting to bury your head under the covers or binge-watching something, anything to take your mind off all the things you have to do. For me, I stare at my computer screen when I need to write. Fear not, we are going to finesse the flow this year. Read on for tips to boost your 2022 momentum.
Give yourself grace
You check the time and see that an hour has passed and the page is still blank. Maybe you’ve been scrolling and swiping and not typing much. Seriously, we get it. Starting can be hard. It is doable though. First, acknowledge how you feel. Then take time to get yourself on track.
Ask yourself questions like:
Am I distracted?
Am I bored?
Do I feel overwhelmed?
Notifications from our devices can be helpful but not when they take us away from what we are doing for long periods of time. To keep you focused, be honest and firm with yourself regarding what eats away at your productivity. If you don’t need to access your phone for work, put it on Do Not Disturb for a select time period. Alerts come in but they are silent. You can also set it to mute. Sometimes I move my phone away from me so I don’t see the screen. When I do have to use it, I remind myself why I picked it up so I'm not tempted to check unnecessary messages. If you've been in a habit of mindlessly scrolling, you will have to retrain yourself to focus on the information you need, and not the info that devours your attention.
Some tasks are snooze-worthy, requiring a little flavor to get through them. If it’s available to you, play instrumental music or ambient sounds at a low tone. Pick something that won’t distract you depending on how your mind responds to background sounds. Some people can listen to a podcast while doing data entry. Some may do well with jazz while they read and write. Experiment and find what works best for you.
Routine tasks are manageable when you map out the work to be done. To help you move through it, give yourself small goals to accomplish. For example, “I will spend one hour entering this data three times a week”. Mark it on your calendar and set an alert. Once you get in the habit of performing certain functions at a set time, your mind adjusts to the schedule. This also frees up mental space for fun things like a lunchtime meditation break.
List your top priorities for the day. Don’t try to do everything. Start with three main items and check them off as you go along. Keep this close so you see it throughout the day. Bonus points if you do this for the week ahead! You can even start a list for the next day at the end of your current one. You’d be amazed how these small steps can ease the burden of being the superhero of getting things done. You’re already great, you don’t need the cape.
There is no point in beating yourself up to meet your goals. Matter of fact, don’t do that ever. It’s not helpful. Admit how you feel about the things on your to-do list. If making lists is not your thing, experiment to find what helps you stay organized. Make adjustments where you can. Also consider if something needs to be taken off your plate, temporarily or otherwise.
We get so many messages telling us to do more, be better. How about we focus on being (a person, a human) first. Then we can make strides to be well. Life goes on even if we stop. Let’s pause meaningfully so our return to it is a healthy one.
Need a mindful moment?
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