Let’s be honest. Some days you just don’t fancy it do you? You just can’t focus or do that task that has been assigned to you.
I’ve got some breaking news for you. That’s normal. It happens sometimes. The secret is to acknowledge it quickly and have a routine in place to help you snap out of it. If it’s happening all the time, then there’s more than likely something deeper wrong, and for the purpose of this article, I’m not talking about that.
I’m talking about that one day every six months, or that one day every year when you just don’t fancy it and can’t focus. I had one of those days today. I want to say for no particular reason these days happen, but now being sat back and reflective of the day, in my situation it’s easy enough to work out. For me, it was a relatively simple one. It has the combination of late-night exercise the night before (this isn’t a double entendre, I was playing football), not sleeping very well when I needed more sleep than usual and then being stupidly hungry all day. Why didn’t I just eat? I do. All the time. I have these random days when it really doesn’t matter what I eat, the hunger feeling just doesn’t go away. It’s really annoying. So the tiredness, combined with the constant hunger caused me to lose my focus, and I struggled to concentrate on my various “to-do” tasks for the day. This, in turn, gave me a headache.
There are two options here. Simply call it a day. Acknowledge it’s just not happening, and go off and do something else. For some people, this will be hard to take or contemplate. Some just can’t do that. But believe me, it works. Just accept it’s not happening. Go home. Go see a relative. Go for coffee. Just do something else for a while.
The second option, which I went for today is to have a “snap out of it” routine. The quicker you learn and document what works for you, the easier it is to get yourself back on track. Mine’s fairly simple. I got out of the office for a bit, went for a walk and made some non-work-related calls. Already my mind was resetting and starting to focus again. I followed that up with a strong coffee, and in my case, blasting some of my favorite dance music through the headphones. Arms to the sky, and I’m raving. Well perhaps not, but it gives me a smile and gets me moving around which is the point. Finally when you’re starting to come back into play, use the Pomodoro method of working. This is working, to a timer, for twenty-five solid minutes on the task in hand. No interruptions, no stoppages. Afterward reward yourself with a five-minute break, to do with what you wish, just make sure it’s not the task you were working on. Perhaps a quick cuppa or a quick read of something other than what you were just working on. Repeat this, repeat, repeat. That should see you through for the rest of the day.
Add into the mix here some of your favorite (short) YouTube clips of things which make you laugh and you’re well on the way to coming back to the world. A personal favorite of mine is the classic Chris Kamara clip (Sky Sports football pundit) of him missing the red card in the Portsmouth game. It never fails to get me. Unbelievable Jeff.
The main point here is, don’t feel bad about it. Don’t beat yourself up about it. It happens, tackle it in the way which works for you. You’ll no doubt be back at the races tomorrow.
Gavin Moorhouse is the owner of Lucid Computer Solutions, a productive IT Services provider in the West Midlands. Sometimes he has bad days too.