To Feel Productive...
Inventory... It's the beginning of week three of this health journey.
Automatically the focus was on my physical health as that was the highest liability. But week two I found myself, by not putting any expectations or responsibilities during this time, emotionally exhausted.
Not only is there a struggle in my physical body but my mental health is starting to suffer too.
I find that I need responsibility, structure and something to work towards to feel well. I like to have purpose, and I like to be working towards something. I like the feeling of accomplishment.
So part of my struggle has been in my purpose. I know in our society we associate people’s value/purpose with what they do professionally, so in this season of being unemployed I’m trying a find a new purpose.
I know that I have made the right choice for myself- leaving this profession to work on my health. The truth is this profession that I have been working in since I was 22 is not the profession I went to school for; it’s even the reason I had what I jokingly refer to as my quarter life crisis when I left for New Jersey at 24.
When I came back from New Jersey I started my journey towards getting my Masters, as that’s what I learned I needed to do during my time there. At the age of 30 I completed my Masters. Now at 35 I am back to school to get my license to become a Christian Life Coach, which stemmed out of my Thesis research. I know I’m on the right path. But what do I do in the in-between, especially in a lockdown?
Today I am noticing that I am feeling more rested as I took a few weeks off from having an agenda and just focused on eating healthy and getting rest- but now I am finding I don’t do well without structure. I like to be productive.
I need to make some changes, and I need to get some structure back into my life. Two weeks off was more than enough for me.
So since I am feeling more rested I decided this week that I am going to get back to my exercise routine and let that help bring some structure back into my life. I’m aiding my health and simultaneously helping myself feel productive with something to do and goals to accomplish.
Being in a lockdown also has its obstacles as it isn’t allowing myself to utilize my time as I once did to fill my time or help me accomplish things I’d like to do- things that I would find recharging or helpful aren’t fully in reach.
So now not only am I in this new season of improving my health, finding a new job and ways to be productive, but also I have to find new hobbies and productive things I can do in my apartment.
This week I am going to spend time trying to focus on the things that I enjoy and learn new ways to spend my time. Not sure where I will end up but I’m hoping to find avenues that will help me to feel productive and to feel more myself in this season.
So stay tuned, I’ll let you know what I have come up to feel productive while in lockdown.
As always, thanks for spending some of your Monday with me,
Some helpful ways to be productive at home:
1. Declutter a Room
One of the reasons why you’re not as productive as you want may be that you have too much clutter. Some productive things to do include tidying up your desk, removing books you’ll never read from your bookshelf, or throwing out the excess clothing you haven’t worn in three years. Pick a room and get started! Not only will you have done some cleaning, but the task might also give you energy to move on to the next, bigger task.
2. Decrease Stress
Go for a short walk. Being in nature will do wonders for your mood, so take time to get outside. One study specifically found that contact with nature boosted an appreciation of humour, as well as more interest in personal development
3. Learn Something
When you’re bored, it’s an opportune time to learn. One of the most productive things to do is to learn anything on the internet. It could be watching YouTube tutorials or learning facts and skills through TED Talks. If you prefer audio to video, look up a podcast on a topic that interests you. You can sit back, relax, and still learn something when you’re bored. You can even tackle something big and try to learn a new language (or at least get started). Look up a few new words and you may find you get motivated to keep going!
4. Dig Into Data
Information isn’t the same as knowledge. Are there names, terms, dates, statistics, places, or something similar you need to ingrain in your head? Studying data or maps is one of the most productive things you can do when bored. This will also help you when you find a lull in any conversation—throw out one of those interesting trivia facts you’ve recently learned to get the conversation moving again!
5. Read Fiction
You have to be careful with this one; you can’t just watch an episode of your favorite TV show and call the time you spent productive. However, you can pick up some meaningful fiction books and start reading. Fiction also serves the purpose of taking you out of your own world for a while. You can dive into a fantasy world or a mystery and get lost, forgetting about your boredom completely.
6. Read Non-Fiction
Reading a biography about someone in your profession or an account of historical events relevant to your career can be one of the best productive things to do when you’re bored. Time can be well-spent watching, reading, or listening to something that inspires you. Non-fiction also includes self-help books. If you find you have a general lack of motivation in life, there are tons of books to help with this. What to learn to be more mindful? Find a book on that topic. The possibilities are endless!
7. Try Something New
If you take the time to find an activity you’ve never tried, you’ll be learning more about cultural differences and yourself. These activities can be very productive. If you don’t want to get out of the house, watch a documentary on other cultures. This will open your mind and offer you a different perspective on the world.
8. Try Being Artistic
If you don’t feel like doing something career-related, try something artistic! Studies have shown that engaging in artistic past times improves well-being and even has a positive effect on those with dementia and Alzheimer’s. Creative activities like painting or creative writing could be the perfect productive things to do when bored. Even if you’ve never tried these things before, give it a go! Even if your painting doesn’t look anything like the image in your head, you will have taken a step in the right direction and tried something new. If you prefer to stay on the couch, try writing a poem or knitting. There are tons of great ideas to get you started.
9. Get Some Exercise
If you don’t have a lot of energy to do something mental, hopefully you at least have the energy to partake in a physical activity. Whatever you do, just try to stay active to get your brain back on track!
10. Give Some Attention to Your Mental Health
Is there a personal issue that’s making it hard for you to be interested in anything? If so, address it. You’ll find productivity a whole lot easier. Boredom is often, in reality, something akin to anxiety or depression. Try doing mental exercises that help you focus on positive experiences and mindfulness to alleviate you of what you’re perceiving as boredom.