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Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Productivity Tools…

You know how kids like to show off their new tricks/skills like a million times? If they’ve learned to flip in the pool you’ll hear, “Watch this!” exactly 19 million times over the course of the summer. Or if they’ve learned a new game you have to play it 12,000 times. Or if they know a new joke you will hear it so many times you will wake up in the mornings thinking about that DAMN JOKE.

Speaking of mornings! My body has learned a new trick it wants to show off every day! My body has learned to wake up at 3am ON THE DOT and it is demonstrating that skill every day just like a little kid demonstrates when they can learn how to do spell their own name! ISN’T THIS FUN?

I’m masking my pain in humor. AM I BEING FUNNY? ISN’T THIS FUNNY?

But seriously. I’ve been waking up at 3 off and on since we put the house on the market. It started when I was trying to clean some mornings AND workout before work. It was INTENTIONAL. I wanted to wake up at 3am so I told myself to wake up and I did. That’s always been a skill. As long as am not extraordinarily tired, I can pretty much set a mental alarm. This has always been an impressive skill that makes my life much easier.

Unfortunately, it seems that I’ve gotten so good at it, that my body still wants to do it even on the days I don’t need to. LIKE TODAY.

I’ve been trying to go to bed later at night, staying up and watching TV with Nikki to try to make myself SO TIRED that I’ll sleep it and yet my brain wakes up and I look at the clock and BAM! 3am. Like clockwork. I’ve been considering investing in bulk kratom as I’ve heard it’s a great stimulant that’s also herbal, but I need to do a bit more research first.

But the point of this entry is not my misery related. The point is productivity related! Because when I’m tired I have a really hard time focusing on anything non-urgent. I have a hard time because physically I’m tired so I don’t want to move and mentally I’m just barely functioning so I found myself staring at Twitter last night for TWO HOURS. How in the hell did I lose two hours to Twitter? I mean…TUMBLR I could understand…but Twitter? How did two hours disappear to that? I mean, my Twitter feed is basically a news feed and I was trying to keep up with the Sandra Bland news…so it wasn’t like I was watching someone livetweet a Taylor Swift concert…BUT STILL. Two hours to Twitter?

And then this morning I woke up at 3am, and I KNEW that I should just get out of bed and be productive, but instead spent 30 minutes on Instagram. I complain a lot about being SO BUSY, but when I’m sleep deprived? I can NOT motivate myself to do ANYTHING. So! I may have to start looking at ways to boost my energy levels such as using a glutathione supplement. What are your productivity tools? Do you have anything you do? Do you reward yourself for certain accomplishments? Do you use internet monitoring tools? Do you log your time? If I can’t physically force myself to sleep more and thereby focusing better, I need some tools and tips and tricks to keep myself from watching YouTube videos about makeup (WHY AM I WATCHING THESE? I DON’T EVEN WEAR MAKEUP!) and maybe vacuum. My body is like I am tired. Let’s just veg out in front of episodes of The Fosters. We don’t need to fold clothes.

Give me your wisdom! I know my body will reset eventually. It always does, but until then? Fix me, Internet!

6 thoughts on “Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Productivity Tools…”

  1. My wisdom? This is like asking for tips to deal with low productivity… because you were up all night coughing… because you have a terrible case of untreated pneumonia.

    Your problem is not low productivity and the solution is not internet monitoring tools. The problem is major anxiety and the solution is talking to your doctor.

    I have been reading your blog for years and I can’t help but see a pattern. You identify parts of yourself that you want to improve and throw yourself at them. Sometimes you have amazing success, sometimes you don’t. Either way, they are almost always actually symptoms of anxiety. It’s like with your stress eating. You keep focusing on the EATING part, but what about the STRESS part? It’s clear to me that your body/brain have a severe anxious reaction to stress, which is of course not your fault, but which also means that keeping track of days without Krispy Kreme is treating just one symptom and ignoring the big obvious-to-an-outsider problem.

    I’m really sorry if the tone of this comment is too harsh or strident. I REALLY admire you and you have personally inspired me to make specific changes in my life. I just hate to see you held back by a problem like this. I’ve been reading this blog for so long and I just see this crushing weight of anxiety that you carry every day and I don’t think you even know that you carry it. I just imagine how much freer you could feel without it and that putting it down might be as simple as a prescription from your GP and I feel sad that you’re dealing with it on your own.

    I read this in the dark early morning while up with a newborn. You asked the Internet for input and I’m sleep deprived and hormonal so I gave it. I’m sorry.

  2. I am powerless to make good decisions when I’m tired, particularly first thing in the morning when I haven’t had enough sleep. In those situations, particularly when I’ve been out late the night before, the more organization I can do ahead of time the better. In my case, that means packing my bag and laying out my clothes for the day, as well as planning for a Starbucks breakfast. Doing those things mean I can get out the door quickly and efficiently.

    But if your issue is knocking back items on your to-do list first thing, I’d recommend scheduling the crap out of it, including breaks. When I need to get stuff done in those situations, I schedule each task into my google calendar and I find it easier to stick to the list. I read somewhere that the longest people can focus is for 52 minutes, so I work for 52 minutes and then take a break for 8 minutes. You can flick through Facebook, Insta, and Twitter in that time and still feel like you had a break.

    BUT BUT BUT, as someone who’s working on a side project to do with women and self-care, I would totally concur with the comment above. If you had a heart condition, you’d go to the doctor and take whatever medication and make any lifestyle adjustments they advised. Anxiety and depression are much the same, in my book. They are chemical imbalances in your brain that can be improve with talk therapy and medication. I have personal experience with both and they’ve made a huge difference in my life, allowing me to really live instead of just getting by. You can email me if you’d like a random stranger’s perspective on it.

  3. Yes, yes, yes to Jenny’s comment! I’ve been reading your blog for years as well, and have often wanted to comment that a trip to your GP and some sort of therapist/social worker/counselor who you can talk things through with would probably do wonders for your anxiety, sleep schedule, stress eating, etc. You were willing to take that step for Wes, so why not take it for yourself?

  4. Sleep deprived and hormonal with a newborn? No way! I think a lot of us, Kim included, have been there, so I hope she takes your comment in the right light. I’m also a long time reader who has thought many of the same things about wanting to help Kim with her anxiety. And this comes from someone who has been diagnosed & on meds/therapy for years.

    Anyway, Kim, here’s another note to hope you take Jenny’s comment the right way. And even if you can’t consider treatment right now (it’s always hardest when you’re the most stressed), please think about your other tools to cope with stress: zendoodling, exercise, socialization (with your known groups), and your mala beads.

  5. I’m going to third Jenny’s comment, and I truly hope you don’t feel attacked because I mean this as gently as can possibly be said. Your stress level is too high if your body is waking you up at 3 am. You have been self- treating your stress with food and exercise but I don’t think those are cutting it. Please at least consider going to your doc.

  6. Hugs to you. I’m right there with you in the uncontrollable anxiety issue. I, too, have been waking up in the wee hours of the morning, unable to find motivation or be productive, and now find myself down a wormhole of unreasonable worry about some hypothetical chronic health issues. I went to my doctor today and he prescribed Zol0ft. I’m conflicted about taking it, but think I might, mostly because I can stop taking it if it doesn’t help, but if it does help, well that would be awesome. I’d love to not feel hopeless with worry anymore.

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