Recovering from Failure

I slept until 2PM yesterday, surfed around on the internet, I just couldn’t get productive.

This meant that I ended up missing my blog post, didn’t get the work done that I wanted to, and felt miserable because I was aware of it happening. Worse yet, I spent most of the day before catching up on Game of Thrones as well which meant I had about 36 hours of unproductivity.

Today I woke up refreshed and motivated. I have already gotten more done today, than the past two days.

I really beat myself up about my unproductivity. When you are that down, it’s hard to remember how productive two days ago was. Negative thoughts crept into my head, what if I am not cut out for this? Yesterday, I decided to catch up I had to write two blog posts. That was the wrong reaction because it meant I didn’t want to write anything at all. So today, I am going to focus on just completing one.

When you make a mistake like this, it’s best to settle yourself, recover, then get back to it.

After floundering around for about 4 hours yesterday, I decided to leave the house and visit Yvonne. She took me out to get delicious dinner, rode around on her scooter, and went for a walk through the top university in Taipei. The university was particularly interesting and the whole night really boosted my mood.

When I got back, I worked a bit with Doug on a new website, caught up with my buddy Travis back home, and finished the day with a 30 minute meeting with an important client.

So, my day wasn’t that unproductive after all.

When doing my day planning, there are three cycles that I focus on.

Expansion – Items that give me personal value and reward, like working on this blog post.

Maintenance – Any other obligations I may have for that day. Working on obligated projects etc.

World – Go out and do something meaningful.

Next time I will remember that when having an unproductive day I should make a decision to either cut my losses, or press on. After failing at the expansion and maintenance cycles, I moved directly to world. I went out and did something meaningful, which reset myself for the next day.

It might also be a good idea to just lower expectations of that day. That was the reason I was “beating” myself up over the unproductivity. I have very high expectations for myself. I expect quality work done every day.

Last week, I failed to floss my teeth one day. The next day I flossed twice to reinforce that skipping that habit is unacceptable. But I don’t think that works with everything, forcing myself to write two blog posts so early in my habit building was a bad idea.

I was also struggling with my new mantra of “Do Things for Reasons” .This was because I didn’t plan on having a bad day, and here I was just randomly surfing the internet seemingly out of control. I do have to remember that the work that I do does take a toll on my mind, and some days it might just shut off completely. Better to cut losses, rest and relax, then try again the next day.

What do you do when you are having an unproductive day like this?

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