We’ve all been there: feeling as though our day is moving in slow motion, desperately wanting to get everything done but feeling as though you don’t know where to start. Before you know it, you’ve started four different tasks to no avail, and feel even more scattered than you were before. You search for inspiration, but it’s nowhere to be found. What do you do now?
As a very meticulous person, these days are a nightmare. I fight against the lack of motivation and inspiration, but without fail end up giving in. However, I’ve recently found few ways to maximize my time and energy, and rekindle my inspiration.
Light Changes and Winter Weather
As someone who loves the sunlight, the transition to winter can be rough. Instead of waking up to sunlight streaming through the window, I am greeted by darkness and cold. The wintertime can be a wondrous season, but adjusting to the time difference does a number on my motivation.
To adjust to this lack of light I will turn my fairy lights on first thing in the morning, and allow myself to wake up as naturally as possible. I also have a morning playlist on Spotify that I use to motivate myself, and remind myself of all that is possible. Before changing into my clothes for the day, I will put on a pair of warm fuzzy socks and catch up on emails, social media, and news while I eat breakfast.
Workspaces and Home
I am one of those people who needs to have a decluttered space in order to have a decluttered mind. If my room is chaotic, my mind will be reeling and wondering where to start! My room is my sanctuary, and a place of peace and mindfulness during the chaos of the semester. However, like many of us I’m sure, disarray can set in during busy weeks. Dishes pile up, food gets eaten, and papers end up all over the place. Today I got caught up on all of my chores, and my inspiration was boosted tenfold! I washed all of my dishes (while listening to my favorite playlist of course!), did my laundry, dusted around the room, and swept the floor. I also went shopping at my local store. Stocking up on healthy energizers (the honey wheat pretzels I am currently eating are amazing) made all of the difference!
Have you ever found that during a certain time in the year or school semester it gets hard to focus on one thing for a long period of time? In high school I was convinced that once you started something, you had to finish it. If I still used that model I would definitely not succeed in my endeavors.
As part of my transition to college I had to learn that splitting tasks into smaller sections is a valuable time management strategy. For example, I will choose what subject I feel most motivated to do and start with it. The moment I am staring but not engaging, I will switch to the next thing. Sometimes, this means that I listen to podcasts and switch my active listening between the task at hand and the podcast. I have been loving quite a few podcasts lately! My favorite one so far has been The Accidental Creative. As a blogger I am always looking for new strategies and advice from others, and listening to these segments in the background has kept me inspired!
I’ve been able to use odd hours here and there to finish emails, write blog posts, do reading homework, write papers, and any other tasks I feel motivated to do. I’ve reconnected with my inspiration by actively choosing my focus points, and have felt much more accomplished and excited about the projects I’m working on! 🙂
As much as I love being productive, I know that there are limitations to how much I can do before I lose my focus. Taking intentional breaks is a great way to revisit your plans, connect with others, and take time to be in the world. As you have probably gathered, I like coffee a bit too much. I’ll admit it’s definitely one of my vices, but is so good!! On the weekends I love to spend time at the local coffee shop (soy milk mochas are one of the best things) and spend time in the moment. Unwinding after a stressful week is always one of my top priorities, and coffee shops are the perfect place to do just that!
I’ve also been reading more books from the local library, which has been a great way to unwind before bed. I’ve read some great books lately, and hope to do a few reviews since I haven’t done one in quite a while!
The Accidental Creative and Closing Loops
This podcast has quickly become one of my favorites, and has provided me with the inspiration I’ve needed this week! In one of its recent episodes, they talked about two ways of generating inspiration. I’ve never tried these approaches, but think they would be great for reengaging with our inspirations!
The first is to “end with the beginning in mind”. This means that you should always end a task with an idea of exactly how you’re going to resume when you return to it later. This gives you direction, and grounds you in your goals. The second is to close loops of non-action. This was quite intriguing to me because I’m quite guilty of doing this! The podcast states that accumulating non-actions inhibit our ability to focus. As such, small bits of time should be used to close as many of these incomplete loops as possible. Send that email, respond to that comment, get caught up on your chores. Closing loops gives us a sense of accomplishment, and sparks inspiration to continue on this path.
This week has been a challenging one for me in terms of finding my inspiration, but all of these techniques have encouraged me to keep going and rekindle my inspiration. What do you do when you lack inspiration? Let me know in the comments! 🙂
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