In my personal experience, the more I tried to avoid bad days, and the more I tried to force productivity when I just didn’t have it in me… the worse my days got. Or the harder it was to get out of the rut. I will always stand by the belief that hard work is crucial in anything you hope to accomplish. The 1 thing I may put higher on a pedestal than hard work is self awareness. We cannot be functioning at 100% every minute of every day. Some can go harder for longer than others, but we all have our off days.
I have found that the key to maximizing my productivity is balance, and not beating myself up. I like to be productive. I like to work hard. However, there are some days that I just don’t have it in me. Instead of trying to force it like I used to, I’ve started leaning into it. When I’m having a day that I just can’t seem to focus or can’t seem to put the work in that I usually do, I let myself have it. I make sure to get done what I need to, and then I let myself relax. It’s okay to relax. It’s okay to not be at your best every day. The key is being able to reset.
Take those days when you need them, but figure out what you can do to make sure that you are resetting and getting back on track the next day. This is my way of trying to maximize the good and minimize the downside. No matter what else I get done in a day, I always finish the day with my list of intentions for the next day to make sure that as soon as I am awake the next morning I have a plan to make the most out of the day.
As an athlete you might not be ready to go full out every single day. I get that, but again the key is finding your balance. Maybe you need to cut training short a little bit that day, but what are you able to manage? Even if you get home, get a good stretch in and then a solid 8 hours of sleep, you will set yourself up for a better day the next day.
So remember, maximize the good and minimize your downside!