I’m really struggling, but here’s how I’m fixing it

May 17, 2017

This is a flash post that I decided to write because honestly, I've been struggling the last few weeks with my productivity. If I am, then other people are, too – maybe you.

I've been travelling, particularly to the United States, and that always plays with my body clock. The weird thing is that my sleeping patterns got back to normal after just a few days – I'm not too bad with jet lag these days.

But even after been back almost two weeks, I can't get back into the real swing of things.

Particularly, my brain isn't working how I want it to work. I'm usually a pretty healthy eater and admittedly, whilst travelling, I wasn't able to keep that up and since I've been back – certainly the week up until this week – my diet was still a little awry.

I believe that this, along with the sleeping patterns being disrupted, has caused me to bounce “out of sync” with myself.

Here're some of the things that I'm struggling with that are really out of character:

  • Not getting out of bed until 7 am
  • Not properly exercising as often as I usually do (usually at least once per weekday, in a morning)
  • Feeling rushed
  • Not being able to focus
  • Not really feeling as effective as usual in the tasks I'm undertaking

This is really unlike me and sure, I've felt like this before, but ordinarily, if I revisit the principles within The Essential 14 Day Guide to Cutting Your Working Hours & Increasing Your Impact then I can snap myself out of it and become more productive once again.

The thing is, I'm not sure that this IS a productivity “thing”.

I think it's something else.

Maybe a stimulation thing?

So, on Monday this week, I decided to take action and more importantly, take some control in the pursuit of feeling more focussed, getting back to my heavy exercise regime and feeling 10/10 again.

Here's what I did:

  • Set my alarm for 5 am tomorrow – I will be out and about by 6.
  • Said “yes” to several things that I usually wouldn't have, e.g. a trip to see Arnold Schwarzenegger in September – ordinarily I'd have baulked at the price of this, but I feel good investing a small amount of my earnings back into something that I usually wouldn't do.
  • Taken control of my diet – usually, I'm a solid eater, I'm pretty good – but I've gone super strict, as if I'm on a training diet. I've cut out all non-natural sugars, did a huge shop for every single meal for 8 days; high protein, quality fats, plenty of vitamins.
  • Added some variations to my exercise that I haven't done for years – I typically heavy weight train at 7 am every morning, followed by some high-intensity interval training boxing straight after. This week, I dug my mountain bike out and went for a 6-mile evening ride, and I'm doing the same tonight. This is new and exciting to me and keeps me exercising whilst exciting me about doing something new. I also get to listen to a sweet audiobook whilst I'm out, too.
  • Booked a piano lesson – I used to tinker on the piano a long time ago. I'm a pretty consistent hobby musician (read: lapsed musician) and play my acoustic most days, but for the longest time, I've been promising that I'd learn piano properly. So, I booked it today.
  • Got my bass guitar out – During my time as a fledgeling rock God (read: amateur cock rock band member) I played bass, for years. There's something about the driving rhythm that I love and my beloved MusicMan bass had been sitting in the attic for 6 years. So, I got it out, cleaned it and ordered new strings. Now it lives in my living room on a nice stand and I play it every day. It's a super nice way to have ten minutes doing something creative and breaking from whatever I'm working on.
  • Reached out to the Excellence Expected/Podcast Websites community – I sent random emails to members to ask how they are and how they're getting along. They replied and we picked up the conversation, whoop! I talk to most of the members a lot anyway, but this was something that I felt could not only help the businesses but really help the members, too. It's great to just chat and listen.
  • Wrote this post! – I wrote all of my 2017 blog posts in late 2016 so that I can focus on growth. But, I wanted to hold myself accountable and be held accountable by you. So, I wrote this blog post.

How would you handle this?

Don't forget, the more you expect from yourself, the more you WILL excel!

Mark Asquith

That British podcast guy, Mark is co-founder of Captivate.fm, the world's only growth-oriented podcast host. A Harvard, TEDx, Podcast Movement and Podfest speaker (amongst many more!), he's a wildly approachable Brit and Star Wars/DC Comics geek.

Learn podcasting
in your own time

Listen to the
free podcast

The free, thrice-weekly show that brings you podcast education, industry insights & straight-talking reactions to podcasting news. This short-form show typically runs for between 7 and 15 minutes and releases every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Usually a solo show, every now and then, the show features expert podcast industry guests and release bonus episodes as the podcast industry continues to grow and develop.