Lately I have completely lost my state of flow. My schedule is a mess and my productivity level is at nightmare status. Not only has this been chaotic for my work life, but it has also taken a toll on my health and my body. I fully believe that when someone is struggling mentally, physical issues will manifest shortly there after. I’m having digestive issues, my body fat has increased while muscle mass decreased, I’m physically weak and have almost unbearable back pain.
I’ve seen countless articles on how to enter the flow state. This post is the complete opposite. I think it’s a helpful prophylactic to reverse engineer the process in order to see what behaviors caused the problem. Especially when so many seem rather trivial. But it’s a snowball effect that escalates quickly. The list of actions below is how I created the predicament I find myself in.
- Not Getting enough sleep – This stems from my weekend habits. Friday and Saturday nights have found a way to to go until the wee hours of the morning. I find myself getting home sometime between 5-7 AM. My body is used to waking up early, so If I’m lucky I sleep until 10 AM. Three hours of sleep isn’t conducive for optimal performance. This disrupts my sleeping pattern for days.
- Not waking up on time – I prefer to wake up somewhere between 6:30-7 AM, depending on how I feel that day. Lately, because my sleep pattern is out of wack, I wake up whenever I can finally talk myself into getting out of bed. Some days that’s 7 AM, others days it’s 11 AM. This lays waste to my schedule and I accomplish very little.
- Letting toxic people back in my life – Recently I started speaking with someone that I allow to bring me down. I obsess about the situation and I let their actions affect my life. I know I need to let go again, but my ego tells me I can handle it.
- Not sticking to a routine – Every morning I have a set routine I use to prime for my day. Because I have disturbed my sleeping pattern and I don’t wake up on time, I have been half-assing my morning routine in order to make up time in my day. This unleashes a giant shit storm mentally from the moment I wake up causing everything to feel out of sync.
- Answering texts and emails first thing in the morning – Normally I wont answer E-mails or text messages until I have completed my morning routine and my head is on straight. Lately I have allowed myself to once again be a slave to my phone. I feel the vibration or hear the chirp of a message and I must be a good lemming and respond immediately. I experience a sense of impending doom if I don’t.
- Spending too much time on social media – This is one of the biggest productivity drains I know of. The vast majority of what I see on social media is complete and utter nonsense. It usually serves one of two purposes; to incite an outlash of emotion or as a mind-numbing time drain. Either way its the nexus of unproductive hell.
- Not exercising daily – I’m missing gym sessions 1-2 times per week. Working out is the foundation from which I build each day. After I have completed my workout I have a sense of gratitude and accomplishment, which greatly decreases my anxiety and stress levels. I exercise in the morning so that I can spend the rest of the day focusing on other endeavors.
- Not eating right – This is directly related to #7. I’ve been eating out more often, which means I’ve been eating less nutritious meals. That in turn means I don’t look or feel the way I do when my diet is on point. Mentally and physically I am not as confident when I am not exercising and eating right.
- Watching too much TV – I rarely ever watch television. I usually read, write or listen to podcasts. Lately I have spent too much time laying on my couch watching shows that I have no interest in or I have already seen. I’d be better off sleeping.
- Not monitoring and controlling my thoughts – If I am not careful I can quickly allow my thoughts to take me to a place I don’t want to be. I start dwelling on the past or having absurd, negative thoughts of the future. I obsess over events that will most likely never occur. These thoughts serve me no purpose other than to drag me down and drain my happiness.
- Not spending time working on my passions – I have not been putting in the time writing, reading, exercising and learning. My progress has become stagnant. When progress stops, happiness and fulfillment tend to subside as well. They seem to be a by-product of one another.
- Not expressing gratitude – I started to have expectations of how my days should look. I stopped being excited for each day and became complacent. I wasn’t challenging myself daily and stepping out of my comfort zone. I began to project into the future instead of being present and grateful for what I was experiencing. For me, nothing is more damaging to my life than not expressing gratitude.
Avoiding these behaviors is easier than pulling yourself out of them. Becoming aware of your actions and correcting them is the first step to getting back into flow.