The Elusive Winning Mindset.

I don’t share personal struggle stories as a general rule. I think we should just all get on with it. Get to the point. Don’t faff around, just get stuff done. A true no-nonsense approach.

But a post last night by Brook McCarthy and then today by Kate Toon prompted me to think again.

Both said we should share the shadow, not just the highs but the woes too. Not just “look how well I do this thing cos I’m awesome, and so can you.” But the reality that a lot of the time I don’t ‘just get on with it’ and get stuff done.

I found a lot of the time I don’t have a winning mindset. That it’s fair to middling at best.
I found a lot of the time I don’t have a winning mindset. That it’s fair to middling at best. Click To Tweet

My Confession

There have been plenty of days this year when I’ve retreated under the doona and got stuff all done. Too many actually. I let the overwhelm of running a house and three kids by myself, and building a business I can be proud of, get to me. Big time.I have had days of absolute inactivity and felt like a complete and utter loser. Of binge-watching TV shows and not thinking about anything. Of sleeping during the day when the kids were at school. Giving myself permission to rest when really I needed to be hustling, creating, networking. Growing my bank balance and offering my expertise to others.

Running a business from home for me is dangerous. It means I have access to my pj’s and ugg boots at all times. That my comfy doona and warm oh-so-squishy comfortable bed is a mere 15 metres from my desk.

That it feels like I have an unlimited amount of time in my day because I can just do it later on, right? After my nap.

Running a business from home for me is dangerous. It means I have access to my pj’s and ugg boots at… Click To Tweet
Those activities don’t improve my mental health but actually make it worse. Moving, fresh air, meeting people, listening to music, eating well – that’s what works for me.

Planning Paralysis

2016 has been a year of planning ’til it hurts. Of reflecting and busting through ‘blocks’. Giving in too often to the overwhelming desire to do absolutely nothing far too many times.

Because then I can’t fail I guess. Then I don’t have to make hard decisions or the scary stuff like “sell”. I can just immerse myself in planning, learning, strategising, and buying another notebook, planner, and some pens. Download another thing, sign up for another challenge or buy another e-course.

When Planning Has to Give Way To Doing

So how have I made myself get stuff done when I feel pretty rubbish a lot of the time? How did I launch my successful Lights Camera Lipstick video marketing challenge and sign up nearly 100 people in a little over a month?

I had to have a stern word with myself and follow some tried and tested strategies I’ve used over the years.

They might help you if you’re like me: struck by the paralysis of procrastination, by anxiety and depression and overwhelm. Try one or all and I’d love to know if they worked for you – but just wait until I have had my nana nap won’t you?

Music
I got into the habit of not listening to music. The kids were forever whining that it was too loud/they didn’t like it/they couldn’t hear the TV etc. But you know what? I am working here right now and I need some tunes.

So I have started using a monthly music subscription and have been adding to my favourites to play throughout the day. When I am feeling low on energy, I have a glass of water and crank up some music. And move around, even if it’s chair dancing and I look like a lunatic, it works.

Recently I read a fantastic blog about focusing on gaining more energy because we can’t do anything about the amount of time we have.  Since reading Katherine’s blog I have been listening to music daily to improve my energy. It works.

Get dressed
I know – right. Der. Get dressed and show up. Have a shower, and get out of your pyjama bottoms. Sounds obvious to people who aren’t me…but if you anything like me you’ll get it. When you’re finding the call of the doona and tv too strong, get changed into more work worthy clothes and show up to work.

Makeup
This is like a PS to point 2. Putting on makeup always makes me feel better. It has the added benefit of being fun. Even if you aren’t normally a makeup wearer. When we work from home we don’t really need to wear it. I guess we get into the habit of not wearing it, just like trackies and ugg boots.
I remember reading a story years ago about women in the Great Depression and during WWII. They often still wore lippy. A sign of those times, but interesting that it was still seen as showing up, being ‘put together’ properly to get on with what had to be done. I like that. I’d like to be well put together.
So even though some people see makeup as frivolous, sexist, even anti-feminist. I bloody love it.

Get out of the house
Just getting out of my own way means heading out to work somewhere else. Away from my bed, the couch and the TV. A coffee shop, my local council co-working space, a friend’s house.
It changes my mindset about what I have to do in a certain time frame that doesn’t seem to happen for me at home. So when I head out I know I have x amount of hours up my sleeve and it improves my productivity and energy. I always feel great when I tick things off the to-do list.

Reward for effort
I set myself little deadlines with rewards. When I say little, I mean little. If I create part of a product I am not enjoying (because it usually involves technology and too many moving parts) I immediately follow it with something I like to do. Like creating email content to send to my list. Watching a five minute Youtube makeup tutorial video. I did say little. But it all adds up to setting that expectation in my mind that I have to do something to be rewarded.

Declutter
There is something about getting rid of crap that is energetic. I know a little bit about it as I help run a home organising business in Melbourne called Organise My Stuff (check them out here).

When I look around my house I see all the stuff and mess the kids create, the graveyard of shoes they don’t wear that accumulate near the back door, the busted toys and footies they don’t use. And all my stuff too. I set a timer for 15 minutes and get stuck into a fast declutter and feel thousands of times better. It is actually good for your brain to declutter – did you know that? Interesting fact. You can read more about it here.

It is actually good for your brain to declutter - did you know that? Click To Tweet
Overall, asking for help and taking health seriously when you feel low for too long is a must. I am no health professional, but I have certainly been a long time patient! I know the signs and I have ignored them at my peril too many times this year. 2017 is all about action and doing, not planning and contemplating.

asking for help and taking health seriously when you feel low for too long is a must. Click To Tweet

Over To You

A 15-minute action call might help, you can book one with me here.

If you or someone you know suffers from anxiety or depression, beyondblue.org.au has some fantastic resources. And if you need help, please ask someone today. And put your health first. You deserve it.