One of the things I battle with is always trying to improve on the day before. Sometimes the stars align, the muse shows up with extra coffee, and all the lights you hit are green. But that won't happen every day. The fact that I might not hit the same stride as I did the day before is one of the hardest mental blocks I have to battle in my every day life.
So here are a few things I do, the day after I've kicked ass.
1. Express Gratitude
I have a little block in my planner, where I can write down something I'm grateful for every day. This is the perfect spot to brag on myself. And when I've kicked extra ass, I break out my stash of favorite pricey stickers and give myself a Kiss Cut pat on the back. If it was a really great day, I might also talk about it in my journal. Evaluate why it was so good, remind myself of what I've accomplished and make note of anything that might have been different from your average day. But mostly, I'm just writing down why I'm so happy it happened.
2. Make a Plan Based in Reality
Not every day is going to look the same. I had yesterday off to devote to NaNo and all things writing. I kicked wordcount ass. But today, there are a lot of other things that are going to take priority. Like bill paying, and filling up the empty fridge and pantry, and getting food for the animals, and a million other little things that weren't on my "Have To" list yesterday. So trying to write as much as I did when I didn't have to get out of my PJs until 6pm is not realistic. So it's time to break out the time block sheet and get to work. (I go over time-blocking basics in Day 2 of my #Roxys7DayChallenge)
3. Get Started Right Away
When I'm going to be busy, the only time I'm going to be sitting down is when I've scheduled in a break. (Hint: Those are important too!) So if the clock has ticked over and it is time to get started, I set a timer and move. Sometimes I have to give myself a little pep talk, bargain with my tired body, or even do a count down to convince myself to get my ass in gear, but I do it. Now. Figure out how to pull a no-nonsense attitude with your inner Procrastination Patty, and kick that bitch to the curb.
4. Adjust For Fires
You'll inevitably get stuck in traffic behind an accident, or open up that box of leftovers you were going to eat for lunch and realize you're going to have to go to the store, because food poisoning is not worth it. Something will throw a wrench in. But don't throw everything out the window. Prioritize. There is something on your schedule that isn't vital. One thing that's lower on the list than the rest. Push it off until tomorrow. Now look at your time block and move things around. Things you aren't allowed to kick off your list...food, water, and sleep. You need to take care of yourself. You're top of the list even if you don't want to be.
If the overwhelm or pressure starts to build, stop what you're doing and take a deep breath. You're in a brand new day, and you're doing the absolute best you can in this exact moment. If you meditate, make sure not to miss your practice. If you don't, turn up some tunes and dance through a chore, or plug in an audio book and listen while you tackle some of your mindless tasks. Listen to something uplifting or funny. Take the moment to appreciate what you're about to get done and remind yourself why it's awesome to do so.
I hate doing laundry, but when I get backed up and overwhelmed I try to remind myself that being able to go into my closet and see the clean clothes means I can pick my cutest or most comfy clothes, and that's a gift to myself. I deserve to be pampered. Even if it's me doing it.
Today is a brand new day, and we all can take what we've accomplished in the past as a guide, but it's never going to be quite the same feel. It's never going to be the same circumstances. It's never going to be the same day. And that's okay. We're going to tackle the challenges and get shit done. Let's head off and write the next chapter. I'm hoping mine has bacon and coffee in it.
What do you do after you've hit a productivity goal? Does it motivate you to keep pushing? Or are you easily discouraged like me? I'd love to hear about it.