Whether you're feeling blue or just not as productive as you want to be, pulling yourself out of a slump will necessitate doing some things differently. Here are some ideas on where to start.

1. Change your scene.

For instance, you could take your laptop to an independent, artistic coffee shop and find inspiration from new sights, sounds, and smells, without the people you normally converse with in the office.

2. Hang out with new people.

To do so, join something. Like outdoorsy pursuits? Find a class to take at your local REI. Meetup lists book clubs all around the country looking for new members. And certainly your local gym offers classes full of people you could get to know.

3. Find a mentor.

It's as simple as identifying someone successful in your industry and merely asking. Some of these people speak at conferences, which is a great opportunity for approaching them. Remember, though, the person is likely busy, so you may have to be persistent and keep asking if you don't get an immediate response.

4. Do something scary.

Improv acting is one hobby many people find daunting. Yet several successful executives have shared with me how beneficial practicing this skill has been for them. For one thing, it teaches a person how to deal with uncertainty, which is certainly a valuable life skill.

5. Set an ambitious fitness goal for yourself.

Show me someone who's in a slump, and I'll bet the person isn't as active as he or she could be. Never done a 5K or half marathon? This time of the year is perfect to start training.

6. Do something good in the world.

Serving others is a magical elixir. It's hard to fixate on what you're not accomplishing when you're focused on helping another human being.

7. Try bullet journaling.

It's a bit of a craze right now, but essentially, it's just a regular paper notebook in which you create your own planner, to-do list, journal, and sketchbook. Jessica Stillman wrote a great piece which discusses the scientific benefits of keeping all your stuff written down using old-fashioned pen and paper.

8. Have more sex.

According to a study conducted at Oregon State University, people who have more sex are also more productive at work. It's because having sex releases dopamine and oxytocin in the brain, mood elevating chemicals which work well into the next day, resulting in more sustained engagement on the job.

Published on: Mar 13, 2018