!@#$%^&* – Getting over that mental block
Mental blocks and spells of idleness in the workplace happen to the best of us – and this is no surprise considering we spend up to 9 hours a day at work – confined within a cubicle, stationed behind a desk and facing a computer screen. It is hardly an inspirational place to be, even with our most valiant attempts at sprucing up our workspaces. Sometimes, it can just be a simple case of us getting used to or getting bored of our surroundings.
The monotonous and sedentary nature of a large percentage of our jobs is not the most stimulating of activities, which is why we are often faced with these infuriating plateaus of thought and productivity. To make things worse, the sad reality of life is that sometimes, these things happen when we least want them to.
So how do we break out of these exasperating mental slumps and dips in productivity? While there is no sure-fire trick that would work across board for everyone, these simple tricks are to help ease yourself out of these jaded situations.
Find what works for you.
As we all know, different people are motivated by different things. The same can be said for inspiration, ideas and motivation. Find what ignites you, no matter how subtle. Some are moved by visuals, some by music, some get hit by inspiration in the middle of the night – the possibilities are infinite.
Even though it might be very easy to get blown away by these spontaneous moments, be sure to make a note of these triggers as they strike. That way, you can build on these triggers and fall back on them in times of need. As simple as it may sound, pinpointing out something that actually works for you can be the most difficult to single out so it is important to be patient and self-aware.
Learn to settle for second best.
Since you’re unable to get to a place that would normally inspire you, settle for second best. Keep in mind the previous point and search for images, music or videos that could possibly trigger in you the same responses.
If a day at the beach is what excites you, search for some of your dream holiday beach destinations to get your brain juices a-flowing. Use this as motivation, as something to work towards. Change your desktop background, save favourite images in a folder or create a digital mood-board. You can always revisit these when you aren’t feeling all that excited to or by work.
But be sure not to get too carried away in collating your own pool of motivation and inspiration, lest you forget that you’re actually at work. Once you notice that you’ve gotten over the initial dip in productivity, snap back into work mode. It can be hard, but it has to be done otherwise the entire purpose of this exercise would be pointless!
Shake it up & stretch it out!
Take a short walk to the pantry or the washroom regardless of whether you actually have to go to these places, do some stretches behind your desk, maybe even break out into a little jig when no one’s watching! The idea is to snap yourself out of the sedentary position you’ve been in.
As physical activity is directly related to mental activity, not only will these nondescript physical movements wake you up mentally, they provide additional benefits as well. These include mobilizing your joints, kicking start your metabolism and loosening up your muscles. Your mind will thank you, but on top of that, your body would be deeply appreciative too.
And when all else fails..
Attempt anything to get the dormant contents out of your brain and turn it into something quantifiable. You’d be surprised at what you might find from these mental “regurgitations”.
Do Jack Kerouac, founding father of the Beat Generation, proud. One important practise you can take away from this particular movement is that writing should be spontaneous and uncensored. Adapt a similar mindset and apply it to yourself. Just start writing, doodling, listing, mind-mapping, or creating in whatever way you can and don’t stop even when you think there’s nothing valuable to offer. Edit only if you have to, and only after you’re done purging everything from your mind.
Here’s to getting back on track with working, creating and thinking as brilliantly and productively as you normally would!
By Yasmin Md Basir, PR Associate @ Corporate Media Services