Creating Your Sanctuary

Clearing External Productivity Blocks

May 11, 2023 Katie Sanders Episode 114
Creating Your Sanctuary
Clearing External Productivity Blocks
Show Notes Transcript

When you feel stuck, here are some things you can look at changing externally to help provide momentum in your to-do list.

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00:13 Hi, this is Katie and thank you for joining me on the My Senses, My Space Podcast. And this is a podcast about feeling the world intensely, creating time to evaluate your needs, and planning your space and life to fit you.
00:30 And today I wanted to continue on from last week's episode about pushing productivity. There are times where we may be pushing ourselves to be doing too much and that's what last week's episode was about.
00:46 This week is about what if you've had all the rest that you need that it is time to take those next steps, but you're still feeling productivity blocks.
01:01 So in this episode we're going to talk about external things that you can do. And then next week's episode we'll talk about internal things that you can kind of question yourself about.
01:14 So today, focusing on external, there could be a number of things holding you back from completing the things that you want to do.
01:23 This is not about being the most productive person in the world. This is about focusing on the goals that you have and taking those steps to make them happen.
01:34 And yes, due to neurodiversity or chronic illness, we can have less energy and less capacity to be able to get things done.
01:46 But this is focusing on, well, when we do have that capacity, here are some things that we can think about that are outside of our body.
01:56 Maybe it's possible that the environment that you're trying to complete the task in isn't set up or doesn't have enough space to get that project done.
02:06 Whenever we're doing something that is kind of messy or that needs like just more tools involved, more space to organize things, you're going to need a large space.
02:19 You're going to need a way to just spread out everything. Whether it's on tables, whether it's a whole room, whether it's on a bed, whether it's outside on a patio, where you're just like, okay, guess what, I'm just going to need to get messy for a while.
02:37 Then, you know, being able to see everything like that actually makes you more successful. So if you're cramped and you're trying to do something in a small space, you can have out like portions of the project, like, okay, I'm going to need to drill a hole in the wall.
02:54 So I'm just going to focus on drilling the hole first and then put those things away and then get out the hardware that I need to apply to install into the wall or something.
03:06 So you can make them smaller steps if your space is just super limited. Or you can see like, talk to your family, talk to the other people who live in your space if you have other people and say, hey, this is going to be messy for, and I need to be able to complete this.
03:25 And it may be overnight. And it may be that the next morning is still going to be a mess until I complete this, which is really important to me.
03:36 It's also possible that what you're trying to achieve maybe it's something digital, maybe you need to be in a different environment to click your mind over into something that, like you're in this work mode that's different compared to like your working space that you normally are in.
03:58 So often I'm working I'm just thinking myself, I'm often working at a certain place in a certain area, but I know if I like move out to the living room onto my couch for a little bit, my brain starts working a little differently.
04:10 I start thinking a little differently. And having that change up can help or, you know, going to a coffee shop or going to a friend's house or going somewhere else outside can really kind of help clear some of those like, I don't know if it's physically uncomfortable for your body.
04:29 I don't know it's a mental block, but having that external environment change can really help you. Could it also be that you need to set up a sensory experience to get the job done?
04:44 Could it be that you like a candle because you want a deep dive and journal about something or write something could it be that you want to play some music while you were organizing something?
04:54 Could it be you want to wrap yourself in a blanket to get some reading done or try to solve some emotional things that you're going through?
05:04 Does it help for you to chew on something to work off some nervous energy if you have some anxiety and it really helps to feel that pressure within your mouth, whether chewing on something does kind of rubbery in texture or snacking on chips or something like that?
05:22 Is it also possible that you need a buddy or someone that you can excuse me, like work side by side with so kind of mirroring that can be really successful for people who are neurodivergent have ADHD is that they feel that essence of somebody else working and so that kind of fuels them to 
05:46 start working as well kind of like, okay, I can mirror what's happening here. Let me get kind of busy on something.
05:54 Is it possible that you need external validation from something or someone? Maybe there's something that has a deadline that you can't control and that can motivate you and go, okay, yes, that is my deadline.
06:08 I'm accountable to somebody else. So I have to get it done by that point. Sometimes our internal like validations aren't and so having someone else hold you accountable is really, really crucial.
06:23 Or just saying like, well, if I get get this part done, this person can then do this with it and it's going to be amazing for them to have that done.
06:32 So kind of this chain effect of like, if I do this by this point, then this person can take it and do this.
06:39 That can be really motivating. She's just, okay, someone's relying on me to get that done. Is it possible that you need to wear like certain clothes for the activity?
06:51 Sometimes, you know, definitely work out clothes can trigger your mind to go, okay, now it's that time to do that.
06:58 Maybe it's clothes to make art in that they're messy that you can get them dirty. Because if you're wearing something really nice, you're not going to want to go into your art studio and get a messy.
07:09 It's, you're just going to be like, I can't, right? But you can think of that in the same way of like, okay, I need to go out and do some gardening, okay, I need to go out and fix something on my car or I need to wash the car and, you know, I can't do it in what I'm wearing.
07:25 I'm just going to get all wet and gross. And so there are certain tasks that require like wearing a certain thing, but you can also trick your I know for me, it's very powerful if I'm wearing shoes because I go barefoot a lot in my home.
07:43 I'm not something that I wear shoes around the home a lot. When I have shoes on, I have a different mentality of like, okay, I'm going outside of the house, I'm doing something, even if it's directly outside of my home.
07:56 I feel like that power of like, oh, then I can go, you know, just pluck a few of these weeds or I can go and hang up the hose or I can go and tidy up this little corner.
08:06 Or I can go get something out of my car, clean up my car or something like that. Or I can go run that errand that I was just like, oh, I don't really want to leave the house today because I want to like work on this other mental load of things that I have to do.
08:20 But as soon as I put those shoes on, I can feel like, oh, yeah, let me just go run through the post office and check my PO box.
08:27 Let me just do those simple little things that actually unlocks my body and going, yes, I can go do that right now.
08:37 Is it possible that the weather has something to do with it? I know for a lot of people, they can be kind of sun powered, right?
08:44 And when it's gloomy outside, they can just feel like, oh, this is, I'm not really in my element today. I just feel kind of out of sorts and that can very much affect people, especially if they have seasonal affective disorder or something where they really come alive when the sun comes out.
09:03 It's really important for them to have that that sunny weather. Not saying that you control the weather, but understanding that when there are those moments of good weather and that it really affects you deeply to take advantage of that to go, oh, this might be few and far between.
09:23 Let me see what I can do here or just knowing that here in the northern hemisphere, we're going into summer.
09:33 So there's going to be all a whole lot more days that will be conducive for me or someone else to like get those things done to be feel more motivated to feel a little better about things.
09:46 But if you're going into winter, what else can you do to help support yourself and say maybe it's giving permission to yourself to be less productive?
09:57 Maybe it's lighting candles, maybe it's getting certain lamps that emit that light to help stimulate your brain to feel a little better.
10:09 Any of those things that can really focus on, okay, my body feels better when it's a mountain of sunlight or certain kind of light.
10:18 Is it also possible that you need more resources or tools to get your activity done? Is it possible? Hope that you're like, okay, I have the sunlight to do list up and meaning to do that and I'm kind of like beating myself up for not doing it.
10:33 And then you go to do it and you realize, wait, I don't even have the right things to get this done.
10:39 It's pretty important to kind of look at your to-do list and look at each one, each item, and think, do I have all the resources that I need for this?
10:48 Whether it's gathering of supplies to do it and you could be missing one little supply, whether it's like ingredients for dinner.
10:59 I often go to make dinner and I realize I'm missing one thing and I'm really disappointed, but that happens a it happens to all of us and although it's frustrating, it's just like, oh, maybe that's what was keeping me from doing it.
11:15 Maybe it's that I need a certain glue for something or certain kind of colored paper or maybe it's having knowledge about how to fix something.
11:25 So maybe I need to watch a that I can take that next step. Maybe it's not that I can just dive into this right away.
11:42 Maybe there's one more thing I need to do or collect to have all the resources to have or that a certain tool.
11:51 Maybe there's a tool that you need to purchase to actually get that thing done. Is it possible that you also need to do something that's a warm-up or a transition into that activity?
12:04 For any kind body movement, you're going to have to do some kind of warm-up because otherwise you could possibly injure yourself.
12:12 So is there something that you can kind of do as a warm-up to actually get the activity done? Maybe it's something creative.
12:20 Maybe it's sketching out something so that when you go and paint it later you have a sketch to go off of or you're gathering materials to kind of move you from one activity to another.
12:39 Say that you are cleaning a certain area of the home in the kitchen or something and so if you are just starting out for the day, maybe it's just putting trash in the trash.
12:53 Maybe it's just putting the coffee cup that you just used away first to then transition into doing all the dishes that morning.
13:03 Maybe it's taking one item from one room that you've been meaning to put away and taking it to that area to put it away and then seeing that there's more there and so you're kind of it's kind of like a chain reaction so that it's not quite in a abrupt start that you're kind of easing into something.
13:23 I have also talked about this of having leaving something that's really easy to do from the day before to make that re-entry into some into your like organizing task or whatever that big task is make it even easier because you know where to start.
13:42 You know what the next step is and then your mind can transition into that so much easier. Is it also possible that you just need to move your body in general to get ready for the task.
13:56 Maybe it's not jumping into this giant organizing task right first thing in the morning. Maybe you need to go for a walk around the block and then come back because then your body's kind of warmed up and moving and going okay now I can kind of either sit down and organize and use my brain a little bit
14:17 more because I got some energy out or I you know move my body a bit to kind of feel better and then I can sit down and do a mental task.
14:27 Sometimes that can make it go easier. Do you need to watch others do the task to get inspired to do it.
14:36 So whether it's art or cleaning or fixing something we can watch a lot on YouTube for inspiration. I know I've been part like a cleaning group on YouTube and it was so inspirational to have all of us sharing our cleaning videos with each other.
14:57 They're just even little tiny organizational things. When you are seeing someone else do it or watching someone do a specific task that you know that you need to do.
15:11 When you see those steps and see the person's hands and body actually performing those steps, it can make it a whole lot more real in your mind to go oh I can do that too.
15:24 When I'm watching this, I'm watching and seeing like oh the parts I didn't quite think about that might come up for me as well or a certain technique of cleaning or organizing that I hadn't thought of.
15:38 And when I see someone else do that, it makes it so much easier for me to then do it because I can picture myself doing it as well.
15:47 We can also be very inspired when we're visiting with friends or family and seeing that they accomplish something that we want to accomplish as well.
15:57 So we may be entering their homes and seeing oh look what they did here and it can be such a small thing right.
16:04 We can gather this inspiration from so many different places and when we see someone else like oh look what they figured out and it may be a way that we never thought of and it solves our solution as well.
16:18 So so many times we can get inspired by our family and friends of thinking oh look they found a solution that makes me think of hey I could do something similar or that even just triggers a thought of doing it differently for yourself.
16:34 So that those little like doses of inspiration can come from anywhere and getting towards the end here if we don't have an established time in our plans and her daily and weekly plans to actually perform the things that we want for our goals it's going to make it really hard to get them done.
17:00 So starting habits or really working on those habits of saying this is my getting things done time or you know clearing out a space in your schedule to go okay on a weekly basis this is going to be a time where I organize one thing in my home.
17:21 It's this is a time where every morning I am doing this one task because the more that we do this the more that our body feels that repetition is the more that we're going to feel that we can get these things done.
17:40 That we have the time to do them. So instead of going well I just don't have time my schedule. When is when am I ever going to find the time in my schedule to get the things done that matter to me?
17:53 We have to carve up when those times in our schedule and actually get into a habit of tending to that special time every whatever increment that you want to do whether it's weekly or monthly or daily that you get into the practice of I can do this.
18:13 That I am capable of doing this. Now if you have a chronic illness it may not be that every time that comes up that you're going to be successful.
18:23 So it's not about winter lose or like pass or fail. We don't want to get into those binaries of like okay I didn't do it yesterday so the rest of it is a flop right?
18:37 And we'll get into this more next week about all the internal things but what we want to do is have that time set aside and so that we have like this container that we can work within and those tasks can vary every time that that container comes up or it can be the same thing every day but the practice
19:00 of not having to have this tug of war in your head is like if I do it today could I do it today?
19:07 I don't know can I squeeze it in? Maybe I'll get to it later that's off the table and you actually are just like okay I'm entering this time what am I going to do and sometimes that can be really freeing.
19:22 So I know this is a lot you might want to re-listen to this podcast a couple times or take some notes and see what speaks to you and even listening to this again in a month might bring a different perspective on things because there's so many different ideas here that it can be beneficial to hear some
19:43 of these things multiple times to unlock where you're stuck in the future because usually we're stuck on one or two things and when we come back and listen maybe those have been unlocked for us and we are stuck in the other couple things so come back and listen to it I hope this helped and so thank 
20:00 for joining me on the My Senses, My Space Podcast