Doldrums Dragging You Down? 10 Ways to Get Your Mojo Back

Photo courtesy of Pink Sherbet Photography

We all have days when all of our responsibilities just seem like too much effort. Am I right?

Maybe a bad night’s sleep is to blame, or a fight with a significant other, or maybe there’s no obvious reason for falling into a funk. Sometimes it just happens.

On days when I’m feeling like my eyelids weigh one thousand pounds and my favorite word is ‘meh’, what I want to do is crawl under the covers and watch a marathon of bad reality tv. If I gave in to those urges though, I’d fall way behind on my work and my business would suffer. So, I get things done, whether I want to or not.

Instead of just powering through tasks that feel totally tiresome, it seems that it would be much more productive if we could get our mojo back first. Being motivated to get things done makes us work smarter and faster, and give us more satisfaction out of a job well done. The problem is – how in the world can we get motivated when what we really want to do is take a break from life?

When I’m feeling funky (and not in the Kool & the Gang way), I try a couple of things to break my foul mood before delving into the day, even if it means postponing my start time. I’d rather work on a project when I’m fully engaged and excited about what I’m doing than just plod through it. Here are some things that usually help me beat the blahs:

  • Distraction – Doing something fun and moderately active will get your heart rate up and stimulate your endorphins.
  • Discussion – Talking to a friend about a different topic entirely can get your smile muscles working and boost your mood.
  • Declaration - Tell yourself over and over again why you set out on your particular journey. Repeat your mantra until it sinks in. For me – “You can (and will) accomplish anything you set your mind to.”
  • Doing less – The blahs usually hit us when we are overloaded or overstimulated. Take stock of what you really want and need to accomplish immediately, and let some of your other responsibilities slide until later.
  • Daydreaming – Let your mind go free for awhile. You might feel much better after a little daydream about something awesome coming up in your life.
  • Dancing – I mean, really – who doesn’t feel happier after a little boogeying?
  • Diverging – Sometimes simply moving my workspace to my back porch is all it takes to get me up and running again. Change your location. If possible, try to get some sun in the process.
  • Dressing differently – Put on an outfit that makes you look and feel amazing.
  • Double-teaming it – Work with a partner who helps you stay motivated. If you work alone, contact a team member via Skype and ask them for help.
  • Delighting while working - Munch on your favorite snack, wear your fuzzy slippers, put on your most expensive perfume, drink a luxurious cup of tea – whatever your delight is – combine it with your task in order to associate good feelings with working.

While it is possible to power through even when you don’t feel like it, it’s best to break out of the doldrums before they turn into a long-lasting slump that could really set you back.  Nip your blahs in the bud now before they have a chance to take root and grow into something much harder to tame.

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    • robrogan

      I just happened to get to this email/post today when I’m feeling particularly “blah.” I had put off reading it earlier, and somehow the timing is now perfect!

      I do find it difficult to do things like dance around when I’m feeling low-energy / dragging my feet, and some of the points sound most appropriate if working at home, but the daydreaming and having a good snack seems to be helping :)

      • Adrienne McGuire

        Sorry to hear that you were (are?) feeling blah! It must be going around. :) You are correct in that most of the suggestions were for work at home professionals, but a lot of them can be slightly modified if you work in an office setting too. Instead of dancing, plug headphones into your work computer and blast your favorite high energy song. You can even dance at your desk if you work in a cubicle, office, or if your company wouldn’t mind. :) You can distract yourself for a few minutes by calling a friend when you’re on your break or by watching a few minutes of a funny video. Try taking breaks outside in the sun, even if it’s sweltering hot out there! A few rays will do a lot to boost your mood. I hope this helps!

    • Laurie

      I, too, did not get to read this when it was posted and am having a hard time jumping on a monumental task.  Another friend who works out of her home has invited me over ‘any time I want a change of pace’ and she has worked out of my house when she has needed it, so I am off to ‘my other office location’!


      • Adrienne McGuire

        The day you wrote this, I was working from my back porch in the bright sunshine under a bright red umbrella on my anti gravity chair! A change of scenery (even 15 feet away to the porch) makes a big difference!

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