It can be challenging to build healthy habits that last, especially if maintaining consistency isn’t your strong suit. I’ve been trying to adopt new methods of pushing through the procrastination and getting more done throughout the day, but it isn’t always as productive as I want it to be.
When you’ve fallen out of those productive patterns, trying to find your way back may seem like the most difficult, unattainable task, but it doesn’t have to be. It is natural to have bad days, fall out of routine, but what matters is how you approach returning to a healthy state of productivity.
I don’t necessarily consider myself a productive person, because I struggle to maintain my habits much more than I want to. It’s usually due to other factors affecting my mental health, like anxiety. Though, I’ve tried my best to outline a plan of attack when it comes to regaining a positive mindset and striving for consistency even when my life seems bleak.
Here are a few things I keep in mind when I’m trying to bounce back from a period of inconsistent productivity, so I can keep working towards growth.
You Need to Understand How You Feel
One of my major struggles is that whenever I’m unproductive or uninspired, I criticize myself for the work I’m not getting done instead of reflecting why I feel that way in the first place. This usually leads to me feeling overwhelmed and digging myself deeper into an unproductive hole that may be hard to get out of.
When the words aren’t flowing as they should, and my mind is far too clouded to get any writing done, I take a step back and assess what my feelings are, and why I feel the way I do, so I can face the problem head-on instead of putting it off and then feeling poorly about it.
Understanding how to address those feelings will help when you’re trying to bounce back and regain the momentum you’ve lost. I had to unpack all of my anxious thoughts and fears before I could return to getting a substantial amount of work done, and it made all the difference.
You Need to Know What You Want
You may have a vague idea of your dreams, and if you’re anything like me, it’s probably been a while since you were specific about them. Sometimes, I lose track of my bigger goals when I’m focusing on accomplishing the smaller ones every day, and it can genuinely help to take the time to reorganize them.
This can also help when you’re trying to lay out a plan every day. The worst planning mistake I’ve ever made was trying to force myself to do more work than was needed or make up any unproductive behavior that occurred the previous day. It was important for me to prioritize the tasks that needed to be done, and be honest with myself about what I’m genuinely capable of accomplishing in a single day.
It’s important to have a plan to tackle those goals once you’ve outlined them, and I tend to create a flexible schedule, so I can have an idea of where to start. Starting is and forever will be the hardest part, but once you overcome that, allow yourself to plunge deep into the work. You’d be surprised how much you can get done once you begin.
You Have to Convince Yourself to Get There
It’s not going to be easy. It may even seem like a fight that you have to overcome every day, especially if maintaining healthy habits and staying consistent isn’t something you’re already used to. I still struggle with it to this day, and I know my responsibilities when it comes to getting a substantial amount of writing done every day.
Sometimes, you have to be the one to convince yourself that the effort is worth it because there won’t always be someone around to do it for you. I had to learn that the hard way when I let my procrastination get the better of me, affecting my mental health further because I couldn’t help but be disappointed in myself.
You need to learn to build yourself up and to encourage yourself instead of always tearing yourself down when you don’t perform the way you may want to. I had to learn to be okay with the days I may be a little inconsistent, but not to let my old, bad habits re-emerge when I’m already feeling low. You have to convince yourself to get there, to get back up when you fall, and do what you love so you can see the results you want.
Just because it won’t be easy doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it. Give it your all, and never stop trying.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post! Let’s stay in touch.
Anisa Nasir is a freelance writer and aspiring novelist. She lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband and family. She’s the writer behind As She Writes.