What do you do when you just can’t seem to get started? If you are tired or experiencing brain fog, or if you received some shocking or unpleasant news, how do you put that aside and get to work? 

I cannot get started today and I have tried all of my tricks – music, snacks, coffee, a short walk in the sunshine – nothing is working. I guess I caught a lucky break because I don’t have anything critical to do today. 

Or, maybe a deadline might have helped me snap out of it? Hard to say.

Dress for success

Putting on clothes that make you feel like a professional can shift your mood. This sounds obvious, but given that a lot of us work from home and can work in sweatpants or leggings, cleaning up and putting on “real” clothes can help remind you that you are a busy person who has some work to do.

Stand up and move 

Taking a walk outside or a dance break inside can get your blood moving and clear out some of the sludge. Stretching or a doing a quick cardio routine can be good too. Most of us spend way too much time in static positions. 

Clear your clutter

Whether it is clearing out your inbox, organizing your desk, or doing some dishes, cleaning and clearing can free up energy that you can use to jumpstart your productivity. You might even feel better and have more brainspace. 

Shift your focus

Scrolling on your phone or sitting and staring at your laptop screen watching the flashing cursor may make you a bit batty. It can help to move on to something else on your to-do list and then come back to that task that has you feeling stuck. 

Ask these questions

Why are you doing this task in the first place? How can it help your business? Can you tap into some motivation by thinking about what it will get you, or the feeling of relief you will have when it is done? 

Check out to check back in 

Sometimes the best thing you can do is check out for a bit. Set a timer and lie down. Napping is a time-honored tradition for creative thinkers. Just closing your eyes and breathing for 15 minutes can be incredibly refreshing. 

If you’re still stuck, as I am, you might need to ask yourself if it is something you really need to be doing, and if you need to be doing it right now. Maybe you can swap the thing you’re not doing with some equally valuable task that is more engaging?

That is what I just did by writing this blog post. 

Photo by Jen Theodore on Unsplash