When you have no energy, even the smallest tasks seem tough. Just the thought “I’m.So.Tired” can make someone want to dive into bed and cover their head.
Clean the kitchen? Yeah, right.
Exercise? Bwahahaha! Oh, that’s a good one!
Meal prep for the week? What planet are you on?!?
“Just Do It”… followed by…
Often when we tell ourselves to “do” the thing, we think too big.
“Clean the whole kitchen”
“Do ALL the laundry, fold it, and put it away”
“Workout”, or “go running”
“Meal prep for the week”
How does it feel when you are exhausted and and think “I have no energy and I have to…”? When you didn’t do the thing, what thoughts do you have? I know I can be pretty darn tough on myself when stuff doesn’t get done. Those harsh thoughts don’t exactly energize me, and they certainly don’t get the job done.
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time, right? When my brain feels like I’m slogging through a swamp just to think a thought, or cement is weighing me down, here’s what works:
“It’s gonna feel good to get that done”
You probably have memories of getting stuff done and feeling good, though, don’t you? Was it a big task? Maybe, maybe not.
Conjure up your memories of those feelings of satisfaction. Go ahead, just try it right now. It doesn’t matter if you were tired before you did that thing in the past or not, just put yourself in that feeling of relief, or however you would describe it. Really, I’ll wait…
When I get stuff done, I feel:
Now, let’s mix things up a little. Chances are, if you’re reading this because you were just googling “I have no energy” or something along those lines, you’re probably tired right now.
First, let’s talk about the THAT in “It’s gonna feel good to get that done”.
Back up from that elephant and pick one bite.
“Just declutter that one counter”
“Just sort the laundry to be washed”
“Just cut the vegetables for tomorrow’s dinner now”
Now remind yourself that “It’s gonna feel good to get that done”. Aaaand, go do the thing.
Here’s the key, though. What’s going on in your head while you’re doing it? There’s always a catch, isn’t there?
Put your Head Where Your Body Is
What happens when your body’s doing something productive while your mind is churning out unproductive thoughts? You get a clash, that’s what. And wouldn’t you know, the negative usually seems to come out on top. So let’s nip that in the bud.
What’s an unproductive thought?
- This sucks
- What a stupid idea
- This will never work
- This might work for other people, but it won’t work for me
Dang, that felt like a downer just typing those words. Who could possibly feel optimistic when that stuff is running around up in there? Not exactly the most empowering frame of mind.
If you’re not ready to think “Rah rah rah! This is great!”, that’s ok. That’s another elephant you don’t have to gulp down right now either. Here’s the first bite for that one: Just be there, with what you’re doing.
In other words, get your mindfulness on. Consider that task to be a mental break from all the crap that’s on your mind. It won’t change your life overnight, but we’re not going for miraculous transformations here. It’s all about the first steps. Plus, if you’re mind isn’t drumming up all the stuff that brings you down, that’s gotta feel better.
So, getting that thing done has multiple potential rewards: You got it done, your mind got a break. So yeah, IT’S GONNA FEEL GOOD TO GET THAT DONE.