How To Plan Ahead For The Times You’re Feeling Uninspired
Instead of trying to pretend like it’s realistic to be inspired 24/7, what if we created a plan for the times when we’re not feeling motivated or inspired, and have lower energy?
As women, we weren’t built to have the same level of productivity each month – we have phases and our productivity will depend on what time of the month we’re in. (More on that below)
It’s unrealistic for us to expect that we’re going to have the same level of energy all the time, so why not set a plan that is sustainable and balanced, so that we feel like we’re consistently productive, but don’t feel like burnout is just around the corner?
We’re all about those balanced practices, so let’s get into some ways you can plan ahead of those not-so-inspired moments that inevitably come up.
1. Batch your tasks
The best way to stay on top of your tasks is to batchwork them as you’re inspired. In a writing mode? Write four articles at once, so you have content for each week of the month ahead of time. (That’s actually what I’m currently doing.) Not only does this allow you to work based on when you’re inspired, but it also helps you get ahead of schedule – so that you can keep up with everything.
I find that when I batch tasks, I leave so much more room for inspiration – because I’m not feeling like I’m constantly just trying to keep up. And then when days come up when I just don’t feel like it, I already have content scheduled.
2. Create theme days
On a similar note, I like to create theme days so that I can prepare for my days ahead of time by giving them a specific purpose.
I build my schedule so that I don’t have to be in meetings every single day – I currently have them scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays. On those days, I also like to do any Instagram video trainings and anything else where I need to be on camera.
I also have days scheduled that are for focused, computer tasks like blog writing, editing and client work – so that I can batch work and have several hours of focused work time. I work best when I’m able to get in the flow, and find a rhythm, which isn’t always doable without a few hours to get into a task.
Going into a busy day knowing that you have space in your week to slow down is such a powerful way to keep the balance – and to keep feeling the inspiration going as the week goes on.
3. Use the Primer Technique
This is my signature process for setting my days up for success. Just like we prime our walls before painting and prime our eyelids before adding eyeshadow, we can prime our tasks too.
This involves breaking up your tasks into two parts: the set-up and the completion.
Instead of having to do a task from start to finish, what if you broke it down into two separate actions? That way, when you’re ready to complete the task, you already have a headstart.
Now, when you’re planning your tasks, try to see them as a two-step system. It might help you with feeling less overwhelmed and make you more inspired to check it off – or prime some tasks for a future day.
Some different ways I like to prime:
Mapping out my social media content
Organizing my room before doing the vacuuming
Laying out clothes for the next day
Getting my desk ready the night before work
Outlining blog posts
Getting everything ready for my morning routine flow
Prepping meals on Sunday
4. Plan based on your cycle phases
As mentioned before, the phases of our cycles play a substantial role in our energy levels. Pay attention to how you feel during the different phases – and keep track of them in an app like Clue or MyFlo.
In your menstrual phase, you’re going to want to set more intentions and relax – you’re not in ‘get shit done mode’. Whereas in your luteal phase, you’ll be drawn toward getting things checked off your to-do list – as you’re preparing for your inner winter. Learn more about the phases of your cycle, and how they correlate to your productivity.
5. Spend more time getting in the zone
I’ve found that when I’m not in the right mindset, I don’t end up getting much of anything checked off my to-do list. When I get so determined to kickstart my day at a certain time, I actually don’t allow myself to find my flow. Working for myself allows me to have more flexibility with my schedule, so on days that I can, I will spend extra time on mindset work. I’ll do more journaling or go for a walk outside, and give myself some space to get inspired.
Giving myself that time to feel better can make such a difference in how the rest of the day pans out. We don’t always have the ability to give ourselves this time, but even if it’s stepping away for five minutes to meditate or taking some deep breaths, we can change the way we feel. And the way we feel impacts our mindset and productivity levels.
Remember that every day isn’t meant to be at a level 10 productivity. Take advantage of the days that you’re feeling productive to get ahead, and let yourself have more relaxation time when your body needs it.