5 steps to help yourself care, Part 1
Caring about the task you’re working on makes it easier to start, continue and complete. In our daily lives it’s natural to care more about some things than others. The good news is that we can do things to help ourselves care about work we ordinarily find uninspiring. My previous blog talked about two fundamental perspectives, focusing on the process of doing your task or its outcomes. This post will help you put your body and mind in a conducive state.
1. Make sure you’re in a condition to care. Depletion, whether from lack of sleep, stress, hunger, thirst, or being overwhelmed makes it hard to care about anything. Especially when you’re working on a long-term or ongoing project, taking care of your body is your first and most important step toward productivity.
If you’re already tired, stressed and overwhelmed and find yourself in need of instant replenishment, start with a 5-minute re-focus. Sit quietly, deepen your breath, imagine something that brings you peace and joy as you mentally scan your body for tension, starting from the head down. Imagine your peaceful vision as your focus returns to the tense areas.
When that’s finished, grab a bite to eat and water to drink. Nuts, such as walnuts and almonds are particularly supportive of overtaxed adrenal glands*. Sometimes mild dehydration can cause tiredness. Water and a few nuts can lessen the compulsion for yet another cup of coffee.
To deal with feelings of overwhelm, once you know the big picture of all the things on your plate, put that aside and just focus on your next step. Let go of thoughts of deadlines while you pay attention to doing your efficient-best on the task in front of you.
2. Prime your brain by putting yourself into a mindset that helps you see your task as more enjoyable. This means changing your perspective to one that sees the task in front of you as more pleasurable. You can learn to see the glass as half full. As you practice this viewpoint, you will develop the beliefs that will help you gain confidence in yourself, enabling you to accomplish your goals more easily.
- Inspire yourself with images of people who have been successful at what you’re doing.
- For routine work, play energetic or soothing music
- Monitor your progress and use that to inspire yourself.
- See your today-self as giving your tomorrow-self the gift of your completed Task.
Next week I’ll share the remaining three steps. See you then.
*Adrenal glands produce hormones that help regulate blood pressure, electrolyte balance, the immune system and metabolism. They help the body deal with stress.