The end of the semester is always a stressful time. There is so much to be done in wrapping up classes. I have finals, projects, and papers still to complete before I can wrap up my junior year.
However, I tend to encounter a problem at this time of year, and this year is no different. I get overwhelmed of the things I still have to do that I don’t know where to begin. As a result, this puts me in this feeling of being stuck. I know that I have a lot to do, but I can’t decide where to begin, so I don’t do any of it as I should.
This affects me in more ways than it should. When I get like this, I have a hard time staying focused in class, or doing other things. For example, I started out writing a completely different blog post. But I couldn’t get very far on it. I like the idea (and I may do it later on), but I couldn’t find the motivation or the words to say. For most of yesterday afternoon, the little bit I had done sat open on my laptop with no further action. It was not until I got off work last night that I was able to change and develop it into this.
I hate this feeling stuck I get into. It makes me lethargic and almost lazy. I can’t bring myself to concentrate long enough on anything, and things get neglected. Maybe you’re like me. Or maybe you don’t get stuck but you know people who do. Well, I want to give you some tips of how I deal with getting out of this rut of being stuck.
- Play music… LOUDLY- This is the biggest thing that helps me get unstuck. Preferably I play something with a good beat. The volume and the beat both combine to focus only on the music and not on everything I have to do. And then it allows me to get lost and loosen up a little bit.
- Exercise- Do something that engages your whole body, so not just a muscle group specific. You don’t even have to break a sweat. Things like walking, running, cycling, swimming, boxing, or anything else are preferred. Last night, I walked my usual mile at work, and that (combined with the loud music) really helped me to put things in the perspective they needed to be in.
- Relax- This may sound counterintuitive to being productive, but sometimes relaxing actually helps me get stuff done. I like to watch Netflix or scroll through Pinterest for a bit. Netflix is preferred because then I can put a time constraint on myself (once this episode is done, I will get back to work). But that being said…
- Accept that you may not be able to be productive- I HATE forcing myself to do work when I’m unmotivated, especially because it will probably not be my best work. There are days where I only have an hour of productivity. Saturday was like that. I went to work in the afternoon for two hours. I did only like five minutes of actual work stuff. Then, I sat on my laptop scrolling through Facebook and Pinterest for an hour. I finally got around to being productive about 40 minutes before my shift ended. When my shift ended (because I don’t have any extra hours), I clocked out and sat there. I was doing something with a friend, told her I was almost done with my assignment and that I would be a little later. I finished my assignment in the building by myself. As far as assignments and homework stuff went, that hour was the only time I was productive all day.
- Work on something else- Do the dishes, clean your room, take out the trash. Whatever it is. Sometimes you can trick your brain into being more productive by doing something small. Then, you can work up to the bigger tasks you need to accomplish.
- Get a snack- Honestly, sometimes food helps me concentrate. If you’re getting something, I would recommend getting something that you can eat with your hands. Food that requires utensils can be too much of a distraction. Take it from me, you don’t want to be distracted by trying to eat when you’re trying to get stuff done. I use food sometimes as an incentive. Finish a sentence, eat a chip (or whatever I’m snacking on).
- Take a nap- There have been times I’ve been so overwhelmed that it exhausts me past the point of concentration. So I lay down and rest by either napping or dozing. I usually feel a lot better afterwards.
- Talk to a friend- My friends can be great motivators and encouragers for me. They help me to get back on track. I know they’ll be there for me when I need it most. If you don’t have anyone to talk to, talk to me! I’m not hard to get a hold of. I’ll hype you up!
- Prioritize what’s important- One of the things I need to do this week is clean my room. However, that is not as important to me as some other things. So, that can get done later, and I will still be okay. I need to get other things (like my blog and my big assignment) done before I can really worry about the state of my room. Do I hate that it’s messy? Absolutely. But I know I have other stuff to get done first.
- Go easy on yourself- It’s okay to be stuck. It’s okay not to be productive. It only becomes a problem when it becomes a habit. So don’t make it a habit. But know that not every day is going to be productive.
This is still something I’m working on, but this is also something I have to be honest about. I can’t show you guys just the good days of my life without also showing you my struggles. That is just fake and makes me a hypocrite. So yeah, I struggle with this still. I’m getting better, but I find myself getting caught in ruts and feeling like I’m stuck. I write this to let you know that you are not alone. I’m human too. You are not alone, even when you’re feeling stuck!