Limbo Brain II

SUMMARY: Some more thoughts on why I’m feeling low-energy, with some followup thoughts on what to do about it. Key points: making a decision to go see a movie seemed to break the logjam.

I’ve decided that since today is a recharge day, I’m going to see a terrible SciFi movie (“Real Steel”) and see how that affects my energy levels. Different sensory inputs, I find, tend to jog things loose.

Having made a decision, I felt encouraged think about other things that were on my plate:

  • The European marketplace website. I worked on that yesterday and it’s looking almost ready to go, with some copywriting.
  • The US marketplace for digital downloads and Canadian fulfillment
  • The webapp for productivity, currently focused on some text formatting interfaces
  • Various design projects for updated 2012 calendars, small ETP forms, and so forth

It really isn’t a lot of work, when I look at it in chunks. Just getting to the point that I could actually force myself to write that list took energy that I found difficult to summon. The act of making a decision to do something definite (see a movie) seemed to give me a tiny burst of energy. It was something to look forward to.

This thought makes me think that perhaps one reason for my waning energy is the number of dormant client projects. The nature of my client relationships this year have shifted from formally-defined run-and-gun projects of short duration but high intensity, to projects of greater length but intermittent conversation. This adds unpredictability to my schedule, but since I’m used to the run-and-gun, I’m conditioned to be on high-alert. This is very draining. I don’t think I’ve consciously made the mental switch required; my project planning needs have actually changed, now that I think about it. And I also need to add a new pricing scheme for these types of projects.

In essence, I have nothing to look forward to immediately, with the exception of a project that use a part of my brain that I don’t particularly enjoy using (server administration). And without a cache of projects to look FORWARD to, with a guaranteed burst of energy as a reward, there is very little to be motivated about.

One could argue that having the choice of doing any of my own projects should be motivation enough, but as I mentioned in the previous post I haven’t seen a lot of new energy come back from those projects. So in a way, I’m kind of burned out on them, or at least not too jazzed about them. This suggests I need to find something NEW to do with these projects, maybe create a better focused plan that identifies not only what to do, but is sequenced to produce some kind of tangible result as feedback. Lack of feedback is a huge motivation killer.

Anyway, going to head out to the movie theater!