What To Do When You’re TOTALLY Not In The Mood To Work

woman holding green textile
Volha Flaxeco / Unsplash

Yesterday, I had one of my down moments — the kind where I didn’t feel like doing ANYTHING productive but felt guilty about. The kind where I forced myself to write, even though my mind was somewhere else. The kind where I couldn’t edit videos because I’d felt depressed.

It’s an empty feeling I rarely get but happens when I suddenly feel overwhelmed by the amount of change that I want to see in myself, or from my disappointment when I realize that I can’t achieve my goals.

Maybe this is the workaholic in me speaking up. Or maybe it’s the realization that I’d wasted nine-and-a-half years of my life in a relationship that had left me alone and abandoned in China. Whatever it is, I don’t want to waste any more time slacking off. I don’t want to fall behind even further. I want to do as much as I could to rebuild my life.

I want to write a post every day.

I want to take a picture for my Instagram every day.

I want to publish a new video every day.

I want to read at least one chapter from a book every day.

I want to learn a new makeup style every day.

I want to workout so I can get abs one day.

I want to improve on all of these, but I can’t; there’s just not enough time in a day for me to keep this up and remain sane. But then again if I don’t take a break, I’ll probably lose every drop of motivation I have to keep working.

So I decided to change my routine. Instead of forcing myself to work on something I kept getting stuck on, I did the opposite — I had fun. I watched several episodes of Game of Thrones and went to a local internet cafe to play computer games. It wasn’t necessarily the best use of my time, but at least it helped me feel more relieved from all the stress that had accumulated in my mind.

After a few hours, I’d already felt better. Not enough to jump straight into work, but I knew I’d feel refreshed by the next day. And I was.

By then I realized that the way I used to work before had been entirely wrong. I think most people, like me, believe the path to success, the way to achieve our goals and fulfill our ambitions is to constantly work nonstop. To utilize every minute of our day and to push our limits, no matter how long or how tough things might be. But the thing is, the longer (and harder) you push yourself to work, the more fatigued you are and from there, your performance suffers and you actually end up wasting more time.

It’s the reason why people who sprint early in the race often end up losing to those who pace themselves.

Now there’s nothing wrong with being overambitious and taking bigger steps towards what you want, but if you want to keep up with your goals, you need to give your mind a rest. You need to do something non-work related. After all the mind, like us, needs balance. It needs to constantly feel challenged and work hard, but at the same time, it needs to have fun and be entertained.

So do what you have to do in a day, but just remember it’s a marathon and not a sprint. Take it easy. We’re all pressed for time, but if you push yourself too hard, you’ll lose even more time in the long run. TC mark

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