3 Things to Try When You Don’t Want To Be Productive

Sometimes we don’t feel like doing the “very important” things we need to do. 

And it’s okay when it happens. 

Like when it happened to me. Yesterday. 

The context: I had plans to go to a coffee shop to do some important work. I specifically picked the location because of how close it was. (And I had a free coffee coupon.) 

What happened: I didn’t make it. I was practically there, but unfortunately I arrived to find the Chicago Police Department blocking off the area before I could get closer. 

What I did from there: I went back home. 

Great story. I know. (Minus the police part. Except I still don’t know what they were protecting me from…) 

What happened next: I got home. I settled in. Made some coffee, and got to work. 

…except I didn’t work. 

In fact, I kept procrastinating. I was checking things I didn’t need to check, then getting upset at myself for not being “better and productive.” Which certainly didn’t help. 

While I tend to get a lot done in the mornings, this just wasn’t happening yesterday. Fortunately I eventually got out of my rut, but it took some time – time that I would have rather spent – well….being productive 😉 

Here are a few things I did that can also help you, should you find yourself in this situation: 

  • Forgive yourself. You’re not a terrible person for not wanting to get things done. You’re human and you’re just not feeling it. You can spend time analyzing why, or researching how to be better. Or….you can just forgive yourself and instead accept however it is that you’re feeling. 

 

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Another gem of a mantra card I got from the wonderful Dallas Travers

 

  • Give yourself permission to “do it wrong.” I was at an awesome workshop last week. We got tips on how to be a more productive entrepreneur. We were specifically told “not to work from our bed”….so guess where I worked from? (Hey. It worked.)  

 

  • Let it go. I ditched my running order of how the day was going to go. I even removed some things from my list for the day. I picked out the non negotiable and went from there. 

Do any of my entrepreneur friends out there like to switch things up? How has this worked for you in the past? Please share below – we got other readers who would love to hear 🙂 

Have a kick ass rest of your week. 

Let’s go get ‘em.

***   ***   ***   

Thanks for reading, friends. 

If you don’t know me – I’m Tony. I live in Chicago. I’m an actor and blogger living right up the street from Wrigley Field. 

My blog is here to help others take control and live a more authentically positive life on their terms. Since working with a coach and learning more about personal development, I’ve started sharing my learnings with others. (I have a lot…)

-Wanna make sure you never miss a post? Click the “Follow” button in the right corner to enter your email and subscribe! 

-Wanna see more? Check out my actor website or YouTube channel

Just go do it yourself. (Spoiler: There’s some choice language…)

Stop asking. Stop waiting. And go F-ing do it yourself. 

“Tony. That’s mean. And you’re scaring me.” 

I’m sorry. (And sorry for cursing.) I’m not saying that condescendingly. I’m saying it lovingly. As in, “I’m on your freaking side, my friend. Let’s go get ‘em.” 

I get asked a lot of questions. I love it. I love helping people and it absolutely boosts my ego knowing that I made someone’s life easier. Even if it’s a question about doing Facebook Live and how to save them after. Here’s the thing though – I learned about Facebook Live through google. I had never done one and wanted to know how. I also don’t like waiting. And the amount of time and energy you save when you take control and do things on your own isn’t just faster – it makes you more confident that you can find more answers. 

That’s a small example. But I think this is where it starts. I’m in a lot of private groups for actors, entrepreneurs, and fitness enthusiasts. (Hint: Birds of a feather flock together. Want to start thinking bigger and smarter? Surround yourself with people who do that. Facebook is such an easy way to do this.) These are great resources to finding answers to the questions we so desperately seek. At the same time, it becomes very easy to give up control and let others do the work for us. I frequently see questions from others who want to know basic information that they could look up on their own. Things like what time a team meeting is, or a particular file that was posted a while ago. Don’t get me wrong – sometimes these individuals have already put in time and energy looking on their own with no luck. I’m not talking about them. I like them. And some of them are cute. (Looking at you, Pablo. I’ve seen your results this month.) I’m talking about the ones who go RIGHT for the post button the minute they have a question.  It’s not entirely their fault. They’ve become so set in their ways that it’s part of their wiring.

And maybe that’s you. So….let’s rewire you. 

The next time you are looking for answer – don’t post about it. Don’t bug your friend. Put some time in to figure it out yourself. Even if it seems like something that might take a little while to figure out. Give it ten minutes. Set a freaking timer if that helps. And if you haven’t gotten answer by the time the timer goes off – stop. The point is to start a new habit – not necessarily to find the answer. THEN….go ask your friend. 

And if it’s Pablo, see if he’s free for coffee later. (Seriously ladies, get on that one.) 

To reiterate: This seems like a small step. It can lead to bigger things. I realized this earlier yesterday morning when I saw one of these questions coming from a friend. They asked a question about something basic that I could have figured out if I cared enough to know. I love this friend to death. And while this particular topic wasn’t important in the grand scheme of life, I could help but notice – This friend is struggling with a few different and MUCH bigger areas right now. What if by starting by figuring out that one answer on their own – they were able to start a compound effect to making more awesome, powerful decisions on their own? 

That’d be pretty fucking cool, wouldn’t it? 

Let’s go get ‘em friends. Let’s take back control. 

PS – Sorry for swearing so much in this post (Mom). 

PSS – Pablo isn’t real. I just like that name. Sorry ladies. You’ll have to do your leg work to find such a looker. 

The question that got me out of my funk

Last week I shared with you guys that I haven’t been feeling too great this month. Unfortunately this week is no different 😦 What I’ve since learned is that I’ve been prolonging my cold because I was being stubborn. I had refused to take a break from my exercise regiment and wasn’t giving my body the rest that it needed.

I honestly didn’t realize how attached I had grown to my workouts and my physical results I was getting from them. Of course, I learned this the hard way because I’ve finally stopped doing them. I’ve also learned the hard way that I’m not very nice to myself when this happens. I allow that negative voice to chime in…

“You don’t look as good as you did before.”

“You realize that if you don’t workout, you’re going to look ugly.” 

“You should just let yourself go and eat like crap too. There’s no reason to pretend that you’re going to keep your results in the meantime.” 

All this negative chatter has been chiming in. There was a good 24 hour period where I listened to every word and believed it to be true. (It wasn’t pretty. Ask Beaker.) 

Fortunately I’ve had some helpful people chime some reason into my head. Coaches such as Wendy Braun and Courtney Rioux in particular. In fact, it was Courtney’s words that chimed into my head that finally started to put me in a better mood. 

I credit Courtney for a lot of my breakthroughs. What was really cool about this one was that I actually haven’t even shared this specific struggle with her yet. I simply remembered something she had said to someone else in a recent My Big Year call. They were going  through something completely different and expressed it to Courtney. She followed with this question: 

“Are you willing to see things differently?”

I love this question. We easily can spend time and energy listening to negative voices and asking ourselves why we’re not better. Yet we often don’t stop and ask if we’re willing to see our situation in a different light. I realized the entire time I had been kicking myself and listening to that negative voice that I wasn’t willing to see things differently. I wanted to feel better, resume my workouts, and then have a big cheat night while I watched one of the Cubs games….and then resume my workouts so I could get my results back again. (True story.) I was so frustrated, I wasn’t willing to see any other outcome. But once that question popped into my head, I realized, okay…..I am wiling to see things differently.

Now….what can I do?

The next tie you find yourself in the midst of a setback, stop and see if you’re willing to see things differently. There’s an answer for every problem. But we won’t take the necessary next steps if we’re not open to seeing things differently.

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And if all else fails, take this advice from Preston Smiles. This was from his book “33 Ways to Love Louder.” I’m a little obsessed and it’s such an easy read.

Let’s go get ‘em, friends. 

What eating clean for a month taught me about myself

Prior to this, I was having one or two cheat nights a week. Those of you who know me can verify that these cheat nights are no joke….

 

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I’ve been knowing to eat heaping portions of quesadillas….

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That’s two bags of mozzarella cheese and a bag of tortilla chips. Cheat nights involve consuming all contents. 

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I mean, when the Cubs are in the playoffs, tea just doesn’t seem appropriate…

I coach others with their health and fitness. I share with others how when you do a certain program and follow the nutrition plan, you’ll get results. Part of this coaching involves leading by example. And to be honest, I haven’t been doing a great with this. I’ve been doing programs combined with massive cheat nights. Not only was I not practicing what I was preaching, but I wasn’t able to see whether or not some of these programs actually worked for me.

When I started my latest program, I decided I was going to do better with nutrition. I hadn’t planned on going this long eating clean. Once  I made the decision to go to the theatre on pizza night and bring my shake, I was all in. I was going to finish this and finish strong.

Below are some pros and cons that happen when you decide to start eating clean:

 

The cons:

-You feel sad or left out anytime you pass restaurants or bars. (Even if you probably wouldn’t want to go there anyway that night.)

-You stare longingly at certain foods at the grocery store.

-You say no to a lot of free food and samples.

 

The pros:

-I’m saving a lot of money

-There’s a plethora of foods and meals I do enjoy that are very healthy

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Oatmeal and apples with cinnamon. Delish. 

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I have a pretty sweet healthy shake that I like to make nice and thick…

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I kind of like chicken….

-I have killer morning and evening routine that work great because I sleep better when I eat better

-I am digging my results so far

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This was after week four! (After picture is on the left….I’m still learning guys.)

The biggest takeaway has been what I mentioned earlier: I had no idea what to do for fun if food or drink wasn’t involved.

Cheat nights were how I enjoyed my downtime. Carbs, cheese, and alcohol were my go-to way of having a night off. (Even if the only other friend in my apartment was named Netflix. )

I’m a bit embarrassed by this. Yet I’m guessing I’m not alone in the category. I won’t lie – I still haven’t learned exactly what to do with my downtime. I’ve been working a lot on incorporating more fun and relaxation into my life. Eating clean has definitely limited my options.

 

So what next?

I’m still going! I have two and a half more weeks of my program. And then?

I’m cheating 🙂

This has been less of a “I should do this forever” thing and more of an “Okay, what can I learn from this?” experience.  I know I’ll have more cheat nights. I know I’ll indulge when I’m on vacation. But I also know (and this is really cool) that I’m more capable than I thought. Given that the longest I can remember going with clean eating was prior to this, I’ve learned a lot about myself.

But I haven’t mastered it. I’m still learning. Just know this: If I can do it, you can too. Learning that we’re capable of more than what we thought we could do is an awesome, awesome feeling.

And that’s how you start to become your most positive, healthy, and creative self.

Let’s go get ‘em.

 

Struggling to stick with healthier habits yourself? Looking for ways to incorporate new ones? Shoot me an email at tony.rossi@gmail.com and let’s see if I can help or offer any free tips!

3 Steps You Can Take To Constantly Feel Stressed and Cranky

Let me guess: When you’re in a bad mood, you want to stay in a bad mood. Forget about all the good things going on. There are wayyyy too many bad things, right? And forget about all those people trying to help. They definitely don’t understand. Am I right?

Sh!

Of course I’m right. You’re reading my blog. That means you think the way I think. When I’m in a bad mood, I like to stay this way for a good three to six hours (at least). I’ve gotten pretty good at this. And because I’m a nice person, I’d like to share with you how to stay in this bad mood in three simple steps:

1) Spend hours focusing on all the negatives in your life that you can’t control.

Two weeks ago I was panicking. I was waiting on several paychecks that weren’t showing up as quick as I wanted them to. Each time I arrived to an empty mailbox, I got angry and upset.

I’ll say that again: I was letting my mail carrier be the determining factor over whether or not I went to bed happy. Should you find yourself in a similar situation, congratulations! You’ve accomplished step one and may proceed.

2) Spend tonight focusing on all of the things you didn’t get done today.

Remember that time you woke up thinking about how great today was going to be? You had a list of things you were ready to knock out. Once they got done, you’d feel accomplished and awesome.

…that was this morning. You got one of them done. Maybe two. WOW. That’s a failure if I ever heard of one.

I’ve done this more times than I can count this month. “Today sucked. I suck. And tomorrow will probably suck too. Guess there’s nothing left to do except sit and sulk for another hour before I go to bed.”

(If and only if you have mastered the “sit and sulk” concept, may you proceed to step three.)

3) Avoid any and all steps – especially baby steps that will eventually lead to bigger ones – that could better your situation.

Don’t make a list. Don’t clear off your desk. Don’t check your calendar and find that one window tomorrow where you know you can be productive. That’s the opposite of what we want. Rather, focus on the money you don’t have. Focus on the time you don’t have. Focus on the jobs you haven’t gotten. Anything that could better your situation right now means you failed, and steps one and two were all for nothing.

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STAY ANGRY! (Don’t look at smiling Graham. He’s not angry….neither is Jason M Hammond who took this photo….)

….Though I suppose it wouldn’t be fair unless we at least glanced at the other side of things.

Know that Courtney Rioux I keep mentioning? If you go to her website at www.courtneyriouxcoaching.com, you’ll find you can both sign up for her blog, plus receive a free thirty minute audio titled, “How to Be Happy No Matter What Life Throws at You.” (But definitely don’t listen to this if you want to master all three steps I just mentioned.)

I’m paraphrasing here – there’s an example Courtney gives of someone getting upset as they realize they forgot their wallet at Starbucks. Because they’re so frustrated, they don’t even notice the person behind him in line offering to pay for their coffee.

My question to you is this: What positives are you missing because you’re too busy focusing on how “good” it feels being stressed and cranky?

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I had NO idea that guy behind me was there. (Though I’m sure photographer Dan Patton from reelchicago.com did….)

We’re not perfect. We’re going to “fail” with our agendas and our emotions. But we don’t need to beat ourselves up each time it happens. There’s always going to be positives around us, even if we can’t see them.
Start looking for them today.