when non-negotiating and mechanical method fail

Jay Clouse learning, productivity

I’ve been thinking for a few days how to write this piece without sounding like I’m totally contradicting myself.

Maybe I can’t.

I’ve written about the mechanical method and not negotiating with yourself to get things done. And most of the time, those two tactics totally work for me and I’m able to push through the momentary blocks.

But what I’ve really been struggling with lately is the hours of 8p-midnight when I just have one more thing to get done. At times like this, I will beat myself up and force myself to sit at my computer and finish off this last thing.

But often at this time of night, I will spend 2-4 hours completely agonizing over this thing, and it will ultimately not get done or take 4 hours (when the task itself is a 30-minute task).

I’ve even had entire days where this is the case. I’m not in the right place mentally to really get anything done at all, and I end up not only being woefully unproductive, but making myself miserable at the same time.

So lately, I’ve been trying to be more kind to myself and just close up shop early when I can feel that situation happening. Shut it down, actually enjoy the time that I’m unable to be productive, and hit it early tomorrow when I’m recharged.

Honestly, I’m not sure how to marry that with the concepts above. When is that an ok approach? When am I negotiating with myself? When should I just start typing and get through it?

I’m exploring that now, and I hope I have a better answer for you soon.


Get my honest reflections on personal and professional growth straight to your inbox.