Sometimes it just happens. You hit a lull. You’re totally uninspired to be doing what you’re doing, and it’s completely frustrating. Whether sparked by some internal fit of lethargy, organizational change, wintery days, or who knows what, we’ve all had those spans of time when the last thing we want to be doing is working. Bigger than an afternoon without the second cup of coffee, I’m talking about those times when the thrill is gone. And if you’re anything like me, then in those moments you know you aren’t producing work that you can be proud of.
Powering through moments like this can be tricky, and everyone has their own little strategies for getting by when you really just want to get gone. I’ve compiled a little list of what’s helped me in the past, in hopes that maybe it will help others out there (and spark a conversation of what you in reader-land do to wake yourself back up).
The best way I’ve learned to combat lethargy is to force myself to stay busy. Checklists, to-do lists, and calendar appointments keep me focus. Ok, fair enough that I’m a bit of a checklist kind of gal anyway, but it gets me through. I learned a long time ago that it’s better to be busy than bored, and that’s just what works for me.
Staying Tuned In
I don’t like to talk about every thought I’ve ever had- after all, that’s what twitter is for. But when something is stifling me, it’s nice to talk to people who have gone through what I’m going through and can relate. The good stories make me feel better, the bad stories at least quiet my fears. Talk too much, and I’m instantly hit with analysis paralysis, but for me, keeping a finger on the pulse of what’s going on when I’m worried helps me feel more in control.
I am a podcast junky, and my RSS feed doesn’t exactly qualify as small. When I start to feel myself drifting away mentally from what I’m working on, I grant myself a little leeway in watching TED talks, reading pertinent blogs, or listening to podcasts from things that remind me that I’m doing a job I really like in a company I really like, and that there are a lot of opportunities out there.**
If push really comes to shove, and I can’t fake it until I make it any more, there’s really only one thing left to do: I make concerted changes. Whether personal or professional, sometimes it’s been the tiniest change that has made the biggest difference. (And, admittedly, sometimes it’s taken a belly smacker in the deep end off the high dive to really get re-inspired.) Only you can know for sure what will work for you, but allowing yourself a little bit of leeway to make the changes you need to to accomplish what you want can be a big step in rectifying the problem.
So now I’ll open up the floor for more insights. What habits do you have when you need to jumpstart yourself and reignite the flame?
** Try to combat the urge to watch unrelated-yet-hilarious YouTube videos, but if you must, might I recommend this awesome dance action – it’s a favorite around here.