We all have them, you know, those slow days where nothing seems to happen. You're dying to get some work done, but instead you get stuck in a procrastination death cycle, flicking between Twitter, Facebook and your inbox.
These days, usually being the Weekends or Public Holidays, are fairly common. And just because you're working, doesn't mean anyone else is.
Yesterday, I had one of those days. Or I was having one of those days, until I decided to do something about it. Instead of getting frustrated by the situation, I used this simple technique:
Stop the Cycle
The first, and most important thing to do, is stopping the procrastination death cycle. This cycle usually involves you constantly checking Twitter or your inbox for new content. I have done this plenty of times, and yes, its bordering on insanity.
Force yourself to stop checking your inbox and social networks. If you have trouble with self control, like I do, make use of one of many applications that will block these networks.
My favorite is Concentrate, which is a Mac application. With a click of a button it hides all distractions and opens only the apps/websites I need/should be using.
Meditation Beats Frustration If meditation and frustration entered a kick boxing ring, mediation would slaughter frustration. I know many of you aren't into "airy fairy" things (and either am I), but meditation simply means focusing the mind and releasing stress. There are no rules when it comes to meditation. Your meditation could just involve lying down listening to music with the intention of relaxing. That's what I do. Of course, you could take it to the next level and try and visualise the schedule I mention below.
Start Being Creative
If nothing is happening in your world, then it should be the perfect time to get creative. I usually site down and try and force myself to do some design work when nothing else is going on. Creative work, which can involve anything from writing blogs to designing logos, requires focus and no distractions. Consume yourself in this task.
Set a Schedule
I find it hard to even think about achieving goals when I enter a procrastination cycle. Instead of goals, a simple schedule or list of small tasks is more appropriate. Rather than say working towards a goal of selling 10 ebooks during the day, I would simply come up with 5 tasks which will help business but not necessarily achieve the goal.
The reason why this works, is if its a slow day, the chances of selling something (or whatever your goal is), is likely to not happen. Therefore, instead of just giving into the frustrations of not achieving the goal, I set myself knowingly achievable tasks.
A major source of frustration on a slow day, is people not responding to you. Whether its a question on Twitter, or a quick email to a developer, its just not getting answered. How annoying!
So instead of allowing this to happen, stop communicating. Rather, push information out - tweet out old blog posts etc. instead of asking questions. Your questions can probably wait until tomorrow anyway.
Comment Like Crazy
I get a bit slack sometimes. I usually like to comment on any blog post that mentions my startup, but often due to laziness I miss a few. A slow day, is the perfect time to go out and catch up on comments.
I also like to go back through posts I have commented on in the past and see if the author has replied. Not only will this make you feel good, its extremely good marketing.
Pound those Numbers
You should (if you read this blog) have a spreadsheet with your Target Monthly Income, expenses etc. Catch up on data entry. This is usually a mindless task which doesn't require any brain power. But it needs to be done, so do it on a slow day.
This is what worked for me on an extremely slow and frustrating day. What works for you?
Photo By - - reuben -