Normally, it would have irked me to no end.
There Joe and I were. In Nashville. Walking out of our cute little Airbnb to the car to head to Barista Parlor for breakfast. My stomach was growling something awful and I couldn’t wait to dig into a biscuit sandwich.
Before we got to the car, though, Joe’s phone rang. And I knew I’d be hungry a little while longer.
You see, work trickles into Joe’s personal life quite a bit.
And a lot of the time, I really admire his dedication. Working for a start-up means you need to go above and beyond the call of duty…again and again and again. I get and respect that.
But when I’m caught in a mood? Oh man. I’m not nearly so zen about it.
So when Joe’s phone rang, (keep in mind I was extremely hangry at this point in the story,) I normally would have been pissed.
But instead of letting emotions run the show, I did something to get myself back on track so I didn’t ruin the epic day we had planned.
The funny thing is, it took me almost ten years into our relationship to learn this mood management trick. But I’ve been doing a similar thing with work for aaaages.
The quick trick to get your mood back on track
Getting myself out of a funk was extremely simple.
I got into the car.
Pulled out my book (Utopia for Realists, if you’re interested. Omg so good!)
And I read.
Instead of letting the annoyance fester, I did something I enjoyed that mellowed me out and put me in a happy mood.
About 15 minutes later, Joe finished up his call.
We went to breakfast. We ate biscuits and drank drip coffee until we were bursting. And then we went out to explore Nashville, culminating in a serendipitous show at the famous Bluebird Cafe.
It was the best day I’ve had in a long time. All because I got my mood back on track by making good use of that ‘annoyed’ time.
How to make good use of your ‘low’ time
Throughout the work week, there are inevitably pockets of time where you don’t feel your best.
There’s no way to avoid those lethargic or uninspired moments. But you can recognize them and not let ‘em ruin your flow.
The system that works for me is to use Asana to track all my “low energy” tasks with a specific tag.
A low energy task is something that doesn’t require a ton of mental energy to complete. Aka the perfect tasks to make good use of my time when I’m not firing on all cylinders.
Like at 3:30pm after a day of client calls when my inner introvert is just ZONKED.
All I have to do is pull up my low energy task list in Asana and get to work.
How to set up a low energy task list in Asana
The first thing you need to do is go through your daily/weekly/monthly tasks and decide which can be done when you’re workin’ with zero energy.
Here are a few of my low energy tasks — feel free to steal ‘em!:
– catching up on biz buddies’ blogs (using my favorite, Feedly)
– updating my accounting
– perusing entrepreneur Insta hashtags and engaging with great content
– writing thank you notes
– cleaning up my Google Drive folders
– reading through my ‘Education’ and ‘Ideas’ folders in Gmail
– adding new pins to my Pinterest account
– testing my opt-in pages and lead boxes to make sure they’re still working
Then, take your low energy task list and create tasks in Asana. Here’s how:
1. Create a new task in Asana. You can either click the pink + sign button at the top or click the “Add Task” button to do this. And don’t worry, your task can be created in any project — the tag will pull everything together.
2. Inside your new task, click on the tag icon at the top.
3. Create a new tag called “low energy” (or whatever wording feels good to you!)
Boom. Finito. Donezo. Tag: created and applied.
Repeat the process to add all of your low energy tasks, making sure to add the low energy tag to each one. When you’re finished…
Click on the low energy tag itself to pull up ALL your low energy tasks.
Ta-da! There you have it. Your low energy task list to get shizz done (so you can feel accomplished at the end of the day) while respecting your mood + energy levels.
Two Asana hacks if you wanna get fancy with it…
Update the tag color.
I might be a masochist because I chose to make this tag gray. But you can choose any color you want!
Just click the carrot next to the tag name and select your ‘Highlight Color.’
Bookmark your low energy task list so it’s easy to find.
Click the carrot next to the tag name again and click ‘Copy Tag URL’. This copies the direct link to your low energy task list!
I also created a bookmark for the tag url so I can easily access it when I’m in a low mood funk.
Aaaaaand there you have it: my trick to still getting things done even when I’m tired.
Or (especially) hangry.
Because it’s all about those #littlewins, right? And making the most of a low mood is an easy way to turn even the crappiest day around.
join the convo
What do you do when you’ve hit a wall with work?
What are your ‘low energy’ tasks that don’t need a ton of brainpower to complete?
How else do you shake yourself out of a funky mood?