Do you ever feel like you just couldn't be stuffed but you still want to stay productive?
Sometimes we expect to always operate in a peak state of performance. And I find this is usually the best time for a reality check.
You can't always be on and it's important to understand that everything in life goes through cycles and so too, does your ability to perform at your best.
Even the best top performing athletes from around the world, all have an off season, as part of their training regime.
When You're Not Operating At Peak Performance
Back when I was working recruitment, I was getting completely overwhelmed and I had some very bad news come my way. And I really just couldn't be stuffed with anything and I was feeling very upset at the time.
My boss, came up to me and he said some of the wisest words that I'd ever heard. He said "Look, I'm happy to send you home for a few hours, however I know that that will only give you even more time to stew on the things and just continually run through your mind this upsetting news that you've heard. It's best that you actually just do some one cylinder activities for a few days instead."
I asked him, "What are one cylinder activities?"
The best way to do this is to think of yourself as a six cylinder car.
When you're running at your peak, you've got all of your cylinders firing. When you are not feeling your best, and you're not on top of it, you want to just drop down a couple of cylinders, in fact drop all the way down to just one cylinder and perform tasks that just keep the momentum or the engine ticking over.
It just keeps you moving forward even though it may be quite slow in that progress, at least you're still progressing.
One Cylinder Activities
So here's what I advise that you do: Write a list of one cylinder activities and keep that on file.
Perhaps you might want to have it on your mobile phone so when you get tired or you just couldn't be stuffed but you want to stay productive, pull that list out.
Now the list can contain many activities, for example:
- Paying bills
- Reading a blog post
- Reading a book
- Getting to those non-important emails that you never get around to
- Throwing away old paper documents, or
- Filing stuff or anyway
Keep Your Momentum
The important thing here is to keep the momentum and not to stall the engine because too many people stall the engine when they're feeling a little bit overwhelmed. Just keep it ticking over, keep it running and you'll continue to make progress.
This mental activity will actually breed more activity and soon you'll actually be right back up to six cylinders in no time at all.
It is only a matter of you choosing to shift down a few gears, do the one cylinders and then ramp up, and you'll notice that the momentum takes care of the rest.
In my experience, sitting around doing absolutely nothing is just as bad a thing as you can possibly do cause it gives you too much time to focus on the things that you don't want to be focusing on.
So next time you're actually not feeling your best or potentially you've had some bad news come your way, what I would say is go to your one cylinder task and realise that you're already well prepared to deal with that situation.
You just pull out that list and begin the fist one cylinder task.
Read more about: Time Management