Do you remember exam season in primary school? Remember the “study period” you had right after you’ve finished writing you exam? That is where I am right now.
It feels like I’m in the study period after my exam, waiting. I am exhausted both physically and emotionally. And all I want to do is go home and rest. I need quality rest. I know, however, the rest is only temporary, the following exam is looming and requires my full focus and dedication.
Have you ever found yourself in this kind of situation?
You may choose to use the analogy of holding your breath: Even though the worst is over for the moment, you find yourself, holding your breath as you wait for the next angry wave to come crashing down on you.
There is purpose in Waiting
As a baby learn how to walk, falling and failing is a part of the lessons learned along the way. The baby is never going to walk before they’ve learned how to stand. They’ll also never stand before they haven’t built up the strength to pull themselves up against a chair.
I am sure there is a reason primary school kids have to endure the study period after an exam. Even when the reason is beyond me!
I don’t think there is anything wrong with questioning why we need to wait in life. When was the last time you renewed your driver’s license? I renewed mine earlier this year and it was sheer torture! While I was waiting, I was strategizing ways in which we could improve the efficiency of the process.
So how do we increase productivity while waiting?
While it is tempting to repeat a personal mantra of, “I love my job, I love my job” or “my life is great, my life is great”, it really isn’t very productive! Another temptation is to simply lay down and became despondent or worse, procrastinate! While there is a definite difference between a temporary wait, say – waiting for a child to finish cricket practice and a season of waiting. I believe there are some tips and tricks that overlap and helps us to increase productivity while waiting.
1. Spring Clean
Scrub, throw out and clear out your head while cleaning out your home. I have made spring cleaning my productive goal for this month’s lifestyle challenge.
2. Get Perspective – Reflect on Life
Look at things holistically and take the time to process! Compare where you are now, versus where you were a year or two ago. New years resolutions aren’t enough! This year, I took the time to re-evaluate things around my birthday and it has done me the world of good!
3. Practice Gratitude
Reflection generally lead to (1.) being more motivated to face your challenges, and (2.) lead to a deep sense of gratitude for all the blessings we have in life.
Alternative ways to practice gratitude:
- Take a minute to record your mood and make a one line note about your day for a month.
- Watch the news and appreciate the fact that you aren’t caught up in Hurricane Irma or in the middle of the conflict in the Middle East.
- Spend time with a friend or family member who is going through a rough time.
4. Strategize and Accept
The Serenity Prayer comes to mind…
I think I need a double dose of wisdom! I’d rather find a million ways to get something to work – which is a great quality in general. But in life, things often don’t work like that.
Accepting takes a leap of faith in order to say, I can’t out of my own strength, and so I leave it to the only One that can.
5. Get Creative or Learn a New Skill
Waiting doesn’t have to be boring, I have recently made an effort to take out some watercolour and dab a little to be creative. Even just downloading a free adult colouring in page and silently indulging in a little something for you! Takes the focus off the waiting and on to something a little more exciting.
I have also recently thrown a temper tantrum because my career goals aren’t going as planned. This has made me realise, I need to learn a new skill.
6. Become Quiet and Rest
To me, becoming quiet means focussing on the Word and spending time in prayer. I haven’t been great at making time for meditation, but I definitely see the benefits when I do make the time.
Over the weekend, I made time for long afternoon naps. My body needed it, the overwhelming exhaustion – both physically and emotionally has been painful. I wish I can say, I don’t have afternoon slumps this week, but it would be a lie. I will say this; the naps were glorious!
What are the ways in which you increase productivity while waiting? Share your recommendation in the comments below?
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