Oct 12

Identify Your Feelings

Often, when you are not in the mood to do anything, it is because in your subconscious you are experiencing certain negative feelings.  These are things that are on your mind.  They are eating away at your emotional state without you being aware of them.

The solution is to make a list of everything that’s on your mind.  When you leave problems and annoyances in your mind, they take over all your mental energy.  Instead, get them out of your mind and onto paper.  This will enable you to better deal with them.  You will see which things are actually important, and which are silly.  And, your mind will be more clear.  You will be more likely to experience a productive mood.

Oct 12

Avoid Time Wasters

Avoid Time Wasters like the plague!  Time wasters are things that you do when you are not in the mood of doing something productive.  Things like watching television, playing computer games, or mindlessly surfing the web.

Time wasters will steal your time and your life like nobody’s business.  You are much better off spending your moody time sitting and thinking about what you CAN do right now that would be productive.

When you get into the habit of avoiding time wasters, your brain will eventually train itself to get out of unproductive moods and find something to do.

But when you resort to time wasters, you are training your brain to waste more and more time.  Your brain gets the message that when you are in an unproductive mood, you should pleasure yourself in order to overcome the pain of boredom and depression.  This is a viscious cycle, as time wasters cause you more depression and lack of productive mood as the day goes on and you endulge in them more and more.

Some Time Wasters to Avoid:
computer games
mindlessly surfing the web

Sep 12

Enjoying Life

Enjoy Life by doing things you find enjoyable that are also productive.  Keep a list of things you enjoy doing in your spare time.  Prioritize the list based on how productive each item is.  Sort the list so that the highest productivity items are at the top, and the lower productivity items are at the bottom.

Whenever you need to take a break, refer to your list (I call my list “enjoyment central”), and pick something from your list.  Try to pick something from as high up on the list as possible, as these should be your most productive items.

By doing this, you are programming yourself to automatically make better use of your time.

Sep 12

Gratitude Journal

Keep a gratitude journal.  Every day, write down some things that you are grateful for.  Review the items regularly.  It is difficult to be grateful and be in a lousy mood at the same time!  Focus your brain on how grateful you are, and watch your bad mood vanish!

Sep 12

Turn On The Music

Music is a very powerful tool.  Music can change your mood.

Even if you don’t think you are in the mood to listen to music, you may benefit from playing slow music on a low volume.  This can change your mood quite quickly.

Sep 12

When To Drink Coffee

Coffee has its pros and cons.  I do believe that overall it is beneficial in that it can really help you focus.

Before drinking a cup of coffee, keep in mind the following suggestions:

  • Wait at least 30 minutes until after eating a meal.  The more time you put between your meal and your coffee the better.
  • Ask yourself if you think the coffee will be beneficial to you at this time.  Your body usually knows the answer to this one.
  • My cutoff point is 4PM.  Make a cutoff point for yourself so as not do disturb the night’s sleep.  Each person is different in this regard.  You decide at which time in the afternoon or evening you will no longer drink coffee.
  • If your stomach feels unsettled, don’t drink coffee right now.


Sep 12

“One Of These” List

A “One Of These” list is a list of items that you permit yourself to do in a given amount of time.  The point is that you designate a certain amount of time, say thirty minutes, where you will not do anything but the things on this list.

This pretty much guarantees that for the amount of time you accept upon yourself to stick to the list, you won’t be wasting any time.

Included in my list is usually “rest,” “think,” and “pace.”  These items allow me to feel like I’m not trapping myself in a corner.  If I don’t feel like I can possibly do any of the other items on my list, these three items help me get on the right track.

I use an index card for this list.  Items on the list change each time I do it.  It depends on what is most important at any given moment.  I will also write down the “end time” on the card so that I know how much longer I have to go.

Sep 12

MSG And Mood Problems

Lots of foods and food ingredients have an effect on mood for better or worse.

I believe that MSG puts me in a really lousy mood.  I see this from experience.

Doing a Google search for msg mood returns some interesting results.  Check it out!

Sep 12

List Of Short And Easy Tasks

Keep a growing list of short and easy tasks that need to be done.  Often, when we are in a low mood, everything can seem very difficult.  It seems like everything we need to do is complicated and out of reach.  Keeping a list of easy tasks that can be accomplished in a minute or two can provide you with something that you CAN do.

You may have hardly any energy at all.  You may even feel that your energy is totally zapped.  Even so, it is likely that you will be able to take on one of these short and easy tasks.  Once you do that, it is likely that you will get a new burst of energy to accomplish even more.

Here are some things you may add to your list:

  1. charge cell phone.
  2. do a 3 minute cleanup.
  3. clean out your pockets.
  4. clean your glasses.
  5. reserve a library book online.
  6. read one or two pages in a self improvement book.
  7. air out the office.
  8. make a new file in the filing cabinet.
  9. clean a particularly dirty spot on the floor.
  10. organize the computer files on your desktop.
  11. put away files on your desk.


Sep 12

Don’t Be Hard On Yourself

Don’t knock yourself for being in an unproductive mood.  We all experience mood swings.  We all experience having some days of far lower energy than normal.  It could be that you worked especially hard and long yesterday.  Perhaps you’re behind in sleep.  It happens to everyone.

Be your own friend, not your own personal critic.  Focus on the fact that you are working on improving your life.  You are working on becoming more productive.  Allow yourself to smile. :)

Sep 12

Eat A Meal

Sometimes we can get so busy with work that we forget its been hours since the last time we’ve eaten anything.  Eat a nourishing meal to provide your body and brain with the tools needed to output productivity.

Sep 12

You Are Going In The Right Direction

By taking any of these steps to improve your focus and mood, you are going in the direction of success.

Success is not just those moments when you are closing a deal or working hard on an important project.  Any necessary steps to bring you to that point are also considered actions of success.  If you need a ten minute (or one hour) nap to be able to function, then that is your next step toward success!

Sep 12

Ear Plugs

Get some quiet by putting ear plugs in your ears for ten minutes.  This can help you think.  It is also very relaxing to get the EXTERNAL noise out of your head.  You can then deal with the INNER noise – the noise in your head – your conscience, worries, and everything else.

Okay, I know that doesn’t sound pleasant, but you have to deal with the inner noise.  That’s what’s holding you down.

Sep 12

Drink Water

Our bodies and brains need water to perform all the tasks they do.  Your body may need more water even if you are not feeling thirsty.  Drink water throughout the day to help keep all systems functioning as well as possible.

Sep 12

Figure Out The Very Next Action You Need To Take

Often, what causes us to get stuck is that there is so much to do – it simply overwhelms us.  We don’t have clarity in what it is that we SHOULD be doing at the moment.  Even if we want to take action, we can be stuck by the lack of direction that leaves our brain in a fog.

To fix this, spend some time figuring out exactly what the very next step to take is.  This will give you clarity in what it is that you need to do.  You are now much better equiped to tackle the task at hand.

If you figured out what the next step is, but you feel a strong opposition toward doing it, then the next step might actually be to break that step into smaller parts.  The first “smaller part” becomes the new “next step.”

Sep 12

Go For A Walk Outside

Going for a walk outside can help you focus your brain.  It helps you be aware of your environment, the season, time of day, and the weather.  It can also be a simple mood booster.  Most importantly, going outside for a walk will get you out of your own head.  If you’re stuck in your own head, get outdoors!

Even a very short walk outside can help lift your spirits significantly.

Sep 12

Take A Ten Minute Nap

Taking a ten minute nap can be all you need to get out of that rut.  When you are tired, you are not at your best.  When you are overtired, some important systems shut down.  The world can look pretty gloomy when we are very behind in sleep.

Sep 12

Do What You Need To Do For Three Minutes

When in an unproductive mood, everything seems extremely difficult to start.  Tell yourself, “I will get to work on this for three minutes, and if I want, I can stop right there.”  Often, this will remove the chains that are tying you up long enough to get into a productive mood.

Sep 12

Pace Back And Forth

Pacing back and forth can sometimes spur a productive mood.  It gets your blood moving, and it is at the very least a small form of exercise.  For a bonus, you can move your arms around while you’re pacing.

While pacing, ask yourself good questions.  What can I do right now to be more productive?