Doldrums

Every once in a while, and for me it is usually the beginning of summer, we experience a drop in productivity or energy or motivation to do the things that are important for us. In my case, I think it happens when it does because I’ve just finished a major project (or two) and I need some down-time to relax and rejuvenate.

The problem with doing this (definitely for me) is getting back out of relaxation mode and moving into productivity mode. I call this period my doldrums; basically, I know I need to get busy because I have lots of things on-the-go or coming up but I don’t have the momentum to get working on them.

That lack of momentum leads to guilt which can lead to various levels of mental self-flagellation and even depression.

What works best for me is to work my way back into the stream of things. Take one of my smaller projects and ease into it. Try for a hundred words the first day and then another the next day and so on. I don’t always manage to do it (at first) but I gradually get to my goal. Once I have one small project complete (or a specific piece of a project) I can more easily move on to the next one. And then the next one.

This isn’t an immediate fix. I still have days where I don’t do much or anything at all. I try to focus more on what I’ve done to be successful than what I haven’t. The fact that I’ve managed some progress makes that much easier. It takes me a few weeks to get myself back up to speed, but I manage it nonetheless.

Is this something you have to deal with too? What strategies do you use?

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