with Mir Kamin
I'm a freelance writer and mother of two working from home, which theoretically means I can set my own schedule so as to best accommodate my family. In reality, "flexible hours" often equals "working too much." Yes, I'm my own boss; no, that doesn't mean life is easy. It's hard to leave the office when you live there. But I love what I do and feel very lucky. And not just because I get paid to work in my pajamas.
To learn more about Mir, check out her profile on Work It, Mom! or visit her blog at http://www.wouldashoulda.com/
(Pictured here: Someone who is not me, but who appears to be experiencing a similar level of ennui.)
I’m in a slump. That’s not the same as having writer’s block, by the way—I don’t really believe in writer’s block—but it is, nonetheless, a rather unnerving state to be in. I feel uninspired. I’m tired. I’m lazy. I do a bare minimum of work and then… I sit around and think to myself, “I should be doing more work right now.”
This is not wholly unexpected. Summer was both busy and stressful (due to a variety of non-work reasons), and I pulled back from working so much because my kids needed me, and I needed a bit of a break. Now that everyone is back to school, I have more time. I feel like I should be feeling great.
Instead, I just want to take a nap.
This has happened to me, before. Despite feeling overwhelmed and overstretched when I have a million things going on at once, it comes along with a certain baseline of adrenaline that somehow gets me through it. When I don’t have any time to stop and breathe, I don’t. But inertia is a fickle mistress, and once things slow down, I kind of just want to… stop. For a little bit.
And of course, I can’t do that.
Even what I’m doing right now—just sort of cruising along at a minimum productivity level—is bad news. I can do it for a little while, but then I have to get back on track. I know this. I keep telling myself that I absolutely will… next week. Soon.
I’ve given myself through the upcoming holiday weekend to shake off this slump. Hopefully that’s enough time to get myself back together. After that, it’s back to stepping up my game. I need to shake off the lethargy that seems to have crept in while I wasn’t looking. It’s working its way into my workflow in dangerous ways.
For example: It starts out as just a general fatigue, where I don’t want to do anything “extra” because I’m tired. But before I know it, it’s spawned some nagging doubts about how maybe I’m “out of” anything more, and my bare minimum is all I have “left.” That quickly turns to assumptions that everyone else is innovating and developing their craft and moving ahead with new projects and I’m left in the dust.
Which leads to mild work depression, and an urge to do nothing more than the bare minimum, because what’s the point?
And… ’round and ’round we go. Where we stop is where I put on my big girl panties, I guess.
I’ve been at this for a long time. I know this is part of a familiar cycle, and I know I have to move past it, and that I will move past it. But right now, I feel like I’m just a little too tired to do anything about it.
Next week. Next week I’ll have a list of things I’ll be changing, in keeping with getting the heck out of this stupid slump.
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