Do you ever find yourself sitting at your computer, wandering aimlessly around the Internet, checking email every five minutes, and generally being very unproductive when you know you should be getting stuff done? No matter what you do, you just can’t seem to focus on anything?
Or, even worse, you check out what others in similar businesses to yours are doing online and suddenly find yourself overwhelmed with feelings of inadequacy, doubt, and guilt, thinking that everybody else does everything better than you?
Or, even worse yet, you are enjoying great response from the people who are following you online and you love the attention, and then you wake up one morning and begin to think, “oh my god, what happens when they find out I’m really not so great?” And all those old feelings of “I’m not good enough” start to come up and attack you relentlessly?
All of that happens to me more times than I care to admit. Just last Friday, as a matter of fact.
I was doing some research for a project I’m working on with someone else and as I wandered around the ‘net seeing what other people had done in similar situations, I first began to feel overwhelmed with the amount of work we were facing to pull this off, and then I began to hear that little voice saying, “who do you think you are to try something like this? Everyone that has done this has done a far better job than you’ll ever do. Why did you ever think you could do this?”
Ever done that to yourself? It’s a viciously wicked cycle to get into that mode and sometimes difficult to pull yourself out of it. I know it can be for me.
But on this Friday I decided that what I needed to do was to step away from the computer and go do something else; to get away from my “office” and occupy my mind in some other way. And that’s just what I did.
I took my iPod which I had not picked up in months, stuck the buds in my ears and found a nice spot in the sun next to the pool at the RV park we are in and just listened to music for most of the afternoon.
I didn’t try to read anything. I didn’t sit with a pad making plans or writing down ideas. I did nothing. Nothing! Except listen to my favorite tunes for the entire afternoon.
And that brought me out of my funk. Once again, in my mind, the sun was shining again, I was confident and capable, in love with the world and my work, and feeling like I could do just about anything.
And all because I took a few hours to “get away from it all.” (Now that’s saying something for someone who is supposedly on vacation every day of his life.)
If you find yourself in a funk, like I did, you might find that getting away from it all is the right antidote for you, too.
But better yet, don’t wait until you get in a funk. Plan regular time away from your routine. If you can manage it at least once a week, do that. If only once a month, do that, but plan to get away as much as you can.
If you’ve got a laptop and you MUST get work done, you may find you could be more productive at a café or coffee shop. But ideally, leave the laptop at the office and just go somewhere else. Spend an afternoon or all day at play. Whatever is fun for you and just “be.”
Leave the guilt at home. You’ll never regret these times of nurturing yourself. I can guarantee you that.
© Copyright 2009 Marty Marsh