How I Manage My Stress, and How I Stay Productive

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“Another productive Monday,” she said as she finally began to feel like herself again.

The feeling of finally being back on track is immeasurable, and I certainly missed feeling like I’m accomplishing things throughout the day. It’s very easy to give into the impulses to do absolutely nothing, to waste the free time you actually do have, and to convince yourself that “you need a break.” You probably do need a break – from your routine, that is. For the longest time, I’ve been trying to deduce what had been different in my productivity level, and why I was still finding it so hard to keep it together. It simply came down to the environment in which I was trying to get the majority of my work done, for it was just proving to be ineffective no matter how hard I tried to focus. I’ve made the change today, returning to campus for a few hours to not only force myself to get things done, but it’s left me in the right mindset to continue later this evening. I can speak on the topic of losing and regaining productivity quite easily, but it’s implementing those practices into my life that even I sometimes find difficult. Sometimes, you do need a push. Sometimes you do need a wake-up call. I certainly had mine.

Stress can undermine the mind. It can overwhelm you, it can leave you feeling as though there’s nothing you can do to overcome it. Some of us find it easier to shut out what’s stressing us, instead of dealing with it head on – and this is something that I’ve certainly been guilty of. I’ve tracked my progress and productivity level over the last few months, and if there’s one thing I’ve noticed is just how much my “stress” has taken over my life. It can manifest itself into a variety of different things that we all really do not want to deal with. The less stressed I am, the more I want to work. When I speak on stress here, I don’t mean the healthy engagement that comes with working on a project or studying for a test. What I mean is the kind of stress that renders us unable to do just about anything. The kind that is so overwhelming that it’s hard to get out of bed in the morning, or get any work done. I’ve slowly been able to overcome mine, by truly pushing myself out of my comfort zone to make sure that I am working.

I hadn’t really conceptualized just how much my productivity had changed until I really assessed how easy it once was to work, to involve myself in my creative processes, and to make headway on a variety of exciting projects. At first, it did seem as though I was losing interest in just about everything I loved to do. However, upon further reflection, it’s not about falling out of love with the process, it’s about making the effort when everything (including your mind and body) seems to be against you. I’d find it so easy to convince myself that I can get the same amount of work done in bed, when I return home after a long day, and I end up wasting all of that time. Sure, I do believe I can be productive from just about anywhere, but what I needed was something to kickstart my will to be productive. For even though we may force ourselves to get things done, it always does help when we actually want to be working. I stay productive by pushing myself, and I manage my stress by separating it as much as possible from whatever it is I’m trying to focus on. When I focus on a project, an assignment, or study time, I try to block out just about everything else for the time being, so I give it my all. There comes a time when we’re just tired of seeing the same outcome, and we want to make a change but we aren’t exactly sure where to begin. What worked for me, was to do my research. I read things that inspired me, I forced myself to be productive so much so it made me want to be productive. I wanted to get out of bed and do something with my life, and I still do. That is what matters, and that is what will make the difference in the end.

Happy Writing!

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