This past week, I worked to recover from a slump I fell into the previous week. During that “slump week,” I felt worn out and I had trouble accomplishing anything. Editing can be exhausting, especially self-editing. All of the work I was “supposed” to get done was ignored and the week just got away. Truthfully, I can’t say “nothing got done” because I still kicked myself in the butt to get some things done, but I didn’t accomplish what I intended.
And that led me to a self-accusing and self-admonishing posture which left me unmotivated and tired. It was a vicious circle. I didn’t get to the gym, which is usually a good way to get an energy boost, which further exacerbated this downward spiral. Leading up to the week, I had been running myself ragged and I seemed to just collapse under my own weight.
During that time, I started thinking about my ideas for other projects and new ventures. I started researching a new book and I started to crave the energy that comes from new ideas. I started to feed off of the “new and shiny.”
I realized, that was pulling me further away from things that needed to be done and I started to get angry with myself, which didn’t help. I need to see this project to completion. I need to get this done and follow through with this. I haven’t seen the end of this current project, The Immense Center, yet. I can’t give up on it.
But, that week’s slump carried over into this past week and I struggled to get back on the horse and take the reigns. But, what really did it for me was a variety of things:
- Giving myself the permission to take a break
- Having a supportive wife and family
- Having an encouraging coach
- Listening to and reading inspiring and motivating books and podcasts
- Re-doubling my efforts and recommitting to the project
Things got done this week. I’m relieved and excited about where things are going. There are still voices in my head saying, “just give up,” and “I won’t be successful,” and “nobody will like my book.” But, I’m learning to ignore my critics, even if my critic is me. I’m pressing on and recovering from this slump. I am going to accomplish things. Those new and shiny projects will get their time when this one is done.
How about you? Do you ever fall into a slump? How do you recover? Do new shiny ideas distract you? What do you do with that?
I certainly have experienced what you describe here. My best solution is:
1) Remember my “Why” and imagine it vividly
2) Start. Do something right away that gets me moving in the right direction
3) Build momentum
4) Harness that feeling of success and allow it to propel me forward.
I like your steps, Aren. I wonder, does this work for you when you are exhausted? I find it difficult to “start” anything when I’m wiped out. Any tricks or ideas for that?