Today was a hit the wall day. An already busy week tipped over into hectic when a colleague unexpectedly quit. For a couple of days, I kept pace. Then it started to unravel. I could feel myself getting short tempered, frustrated, fuzzy. I was seriously not in my work groove and it was about to get unpretty really fast.
So I went out for lunch.
What? I didn’t shorten my break. Or eat at my desk. I didn’t push through.
I enjoyed the sunshine. I discovered a great new cafe with an exceptional chai latte. I grabbed an outside table and watched the world go by.
Now’s the time that I say I went back to work and smashed it in the afternoon.
Not the case today.
I muddled through.
And I left on time to go to yoga.
Shock horror! Surely I must be racked with guilt? But I’m not.
I acknowledged that I wasn’t having a good day. I told myself any progress, no matter how minuscule, was a win. I let go of expectation and did the best I could. Instead of forcing myself to work late and continue to be ineffective (and just get more frustrated by the whole thing), I did something replenishing so tomorrow WILL be another day.
When we’re ‘on’, we ‘should go for it. Smash through the to-do list. Be the World Champion of Productivity. Win the Olympics of work ethic.
But when we’re not?
We need to step back.
We need to give ourselves the space to acknowledge what’s going on. Be kind to ourselves about what we can expect from ourselves at that moment in time. Refill our cups. Then we move forward.
Maybe we do like my friend Zoe did. When she realised her current blog wasn’t inspiring her anymore, she started a new one with the freedom to write whatever she pleased. Her creativity is back in spades.
Or make like blogger Hannah Gale and use long weekends for relaxing and fun, instead of catch up time.
Whatever it is, stepping back will allow for faster forward progress once you get over the hump. Continuing to force the situation keeps you stuck in the same space. So step back.