Comfortable Misery

Comfortable misery. I introduced it in a blogpost last week and defined it as a state of mind where you simply give up. Or don’t begin. It’s like a low-grade fever that doesn’t go away. It’s there, it doesn’t feel good, but you’ve gotten somewhat comfortable with feeling bad about it. As a personal productivity coach and trainer, I tend to see a lot of it.

Of course I’m not alone. I have a dear friend who works with sales professionals to help improve their results and she experiences something similar with her clients. It’s doing all that ‘stuff’ you have to do to get what you want and need from life and work.

That ‘stuff’ usually involves taking actions we know we should, but choosing to delay. And as I said in my post, it usually involves finances, health, difficult conversations or my favorite…the march towards managing our time more effectively.

Time management isn’t something that’s just ‘interesting to read about’. It’s a core competency that impacts our daily lives personally and professionally. And the more hats you wear (think small business owners, solopreneurs), the more critically important it becomes. Let’s take one of my favorite time management issues — getting organized — as an example. Becoming comfortably miserable about DISorganization increases stress and decreases focus and results.

Getting organized is not a one-time event. (tweet this) It’s a dynamic state requiring some routine attention. To get organized you need to do 3 things:

  1. Set up your system – This requires giving some thought to what you want to achieve and setting up an office and desktop system that supports that. Look at your office furniture and desktop layout and determine what goes where. Then developing a habit of putting things in their respective ‘homes’. Always. Ask yourself where to store incoming mail, where to store papers for filing, what to do with all the magazines and reading material, how not to forget those priorities and deadlines and many other questions about things that happen in your work environment on a daily basis.
  2. Practice your processes – This puts you on auto-pilot. It’s something you do consistently and routinely that involves moving your paper, file or task forward. That means you refrain from picking the paper up, looking at it and then putting it back down in the same spot…several times a day. All that does is waste precious time and energy.
  3. Maintain. Nothing lasts forever. So your organized office won’t either. When things or situations change, ask if yourself if your system and processes still support your environment and goals. Change happens from time to time and your system or process may need some tender loving care.

You’ve probably heard the saying ‘become comfortable in your own skin’. These actions can help you become…well…more comfortable with your own personal space by alleviating the stress and helping you focus on what’s important. And getting rid of comfortable misery once and for all! 

Comment below and let us know if you have experienced ‘comfortable misery’ in your life? What did it feel like, and what did you do to break the cycle and move forward with you life?

This is a guest post by Cynthia Kyriazis is a productivity coach, strategist and trainer who helps individuals who want to better navigate the 24/7 demands on their time. She can be reached on twitter, at Productivity Partners Inc. or on her blog
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