Using State Management to Stop Feeling Useless

Sometimes, working from home is exactly what I need to focus and get stuff done. But other times, not so much. The idea for this post came to me while curled up under a blanket on my huge couch. My apartment was cold, which immediately killed my motivation. I was listless and blah. Yeah, I knew I had things to do, but, gosh, I just didn’t want to.

Enter: state management

We talk about state management in Dance Floor Theory. It’s the idea that we each have 3 aspects of our being:

  1. Thoughts – what’s going on with our brain
  2. Emotions – what’s going on with our heart
  3. Physiology – what’s going on with our body

The funny thing is, when your emotions are wonky, your body can feel wonky. Or vice versa. Combine any of these three things, and they affect each other. Stress headaches, anxious stomach, getting depressed while sick – the list goes on.  And as doom and gloom as this all sounds, there’s a positive side to it.

You can hack your thoughts, emotions, and physiology to get yourself back to feeling great

In other words, if you notice you are feeling unmotivated, try changing the state of your body or your mind.  You might realize that you were only experiencing the emotion because of something going on elsewhere. Here are three examples of how you can use state management when you feel useless, by focusing on your mind and body.

  1. Get up and do a simple task.
    It’ll make you feel accomplished and start an uptick of getting things done. It’s all about creating positive momentum.
    For example: Go do some dishes or ask your office manager if they need help restocking the kitchen or toilet paper.
  2. Could you be dehydrated or hungry?
    Drink a glass of water or find a healthy snack. Your brain won’t work until your body is happy. Water especially is ridiculously important when it comes to doing your best work. Dehydration makes you feel sluggish. If you hate water, try splashing some lemon juice into it. Still healthy, just delicious!
  3. Watch a cute video. 
    What? Yes. Studies have shown that watching a video of a baby or baby animal makes you more productive. Probably because it makes you happier and unlocks different parts of your psyche. Not that I needed science to convince me to watch this kid getting really excited over receiving a banana for Christmas.

As someone who is part of a team, you can’t afford to give in to that listless, useless feeling, as tempting as it is. Try these state management hacks, or come up with your own. Let me know if it works!

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