Keep Your Mind In The Light

Ever have those weeks where you know you were extremely productive yet you feel like you got nothing done?

If you don’t, that’s good. It means you’re not an obsessive workaholic.

But I had another run like that the past two weeks. Four cities, three conferences, two speaking engagements, countless meetings to build on longer-term objectives, all while trying to keep up with the day-to-day grind.

That’s why I feel like I got nothing done, because when I don’t have enough time to work myself and with my team, the real work—both strategic and tactical—doesn’t get done. Part of it is because I’m still getting into a rhythm with a new company and role and team. But that’s no excuse. I hate this feeling, and it’s solvable. Noting that here officially so I can look back on this later and write about how I’m making progress.

Looking back helps with accountability, and that’s partly what this blog is for. On January 1, I wrote 7 notes to look back on for strength during weak days in 2018. Number 2 on that list was about being grateful, and described how I wrote down 3 things I’m grateful for 365 days from July 2016 to July 2017, and it worked so well, I was able to remain positive without the daily documentation anymore.

I mention it because this week I felt compelled to start writing 3 grateful notes daily again. I was squarely in a grateful mindset to start the year and didn’t need to write them down, but pressure I’m feeling now has made cynicism/negativity too prevalent, so on Monday I began the routine anew with this:

1.I’m starting a new grateful journal because I’ve found myself struggling with positivity lately and it’s been 9 months since I did the last year-long version. So I feel pretty grateful for discovering this mechanism a couple years ago, and knowing that I’m doing this again makes me feel positive already, which I’m also grateful. Work and life productivity is all about mindset and nothing else.

2.Grateful I talked to my wife and kid on phone this morning while I’m in Detroit. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed by work lately, and it’s nice to talk to family and get refueled by positivity from a good home life.

3.Grateful I’m going to get a sh*tload of work done today even though I’m on the road. As my wife said, when you can’t control your team or your boss or even your to-do list, don’t let your to-do list hang over you. Just get the sh*t done as fast as possible so you can approach the rest of the things you care most about—family, etc—with a clear head.

It feels very personal to post this, but sharing it for two reasons: (1) to prove to my future self that sharing personal stuff is productive, and (2) to help anyone else looking for a mechanism to get and/or keep their mind right.