One of the many frustrations experienced in grief is that of “getting stuff done.”  It’s hard to accomplish anything when you feel drained and exhausted, have recurring thoughts of the loved one who is no longer with you, are easily distracted, and frankly have no motivation to accomplish anything.  Not to mention crying off and on, handling questions and comments from others.

Sometimes you have so much to do that you are overwhelmed and don’t know where to start.   Other times you feel on edge and can’t focus, which makes it hard to do anything.  At times you may question what is important, what has meaning, why do anything?  Why should I brush my teeth?  Pay bills?  Make a playlist for the funeral reception?

Sometimes it’s not clear- the purpose, the why- when you are grieving.  Our productivity is tied to what we find meaningful and important.  But loss turns that all upside down and now we have a hard time figuring out what takes priority.

So, you may just have to think about accomplishing things because somehow you know it may be helpful to you or others as living beings.  And maybe that is hard to do right now so you may want to listen to what others are suggesting.  You can still make the choices, but having input from a variety of trusted family and friends may help steer you in a direction that considers your wellbeing.

Chris Baily, bestselling author and specialist in productivity, recommends thinking about the” Rule of Three’s.”  In his research studying productivity, he has found that the human brain can largely remember a max of three novel thoughts at a time.  To get things done, he suggests the daily practice of every morning writing down a list of three things you hope to accomplish for the day.  Then, figure out when and how to do these things.  If at the end of the day you do not get to all three, be kind to yourself, refraining from berating or getting down on yourself.  Release the guilt.  If there is any time to be kind to yourself, it’s now!   Give yourself praise for accomplishing what you did

As a movement therapist, I recommend taking that accomplishment and embodying it.  To do this, think of the task, and do a body movement that goes with the thought, “Congratulations, you did it!”  The movement can be a simple gesture or a movement sequence where you really focus body and mind on the feeling of accomplishment.

The practice of making a daily list and accomplishing some of the items on the list may ease the anxiety experienced when you have a great deal of things to do.  You may have to start small depending where you are in the grief journey.  For example, if the loss is new, some items on your list may be to eat something, take a shower and brush your teeth.  As you progress, other tasks will emerge.  Although it can be hard to make decisions, don’t get stuck on making the “right” or “best’ decision-just do something.  There is no perfect choice. If you can, you may want to make a “weekly list of three “which then lends itself to filling some of the “daily lists of three.”  Slowly but surely, your stuff is getting done.

To increase your productivity, making this a regular practice is the key.  Three things every day- write them down.

Speak Your Mind

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