Plodding through it

Recent posts have been about trying to build a new narrative and set of guidelines around how I approach tasks and my life in general.

It hasn’t been helping as much as I made it sound. It’s basically the end of the weekend and I didn’t do anything on an important project I want to be working on.

It’s programming. My day job is also programming, and recently it’s been somewhat frustrating – not in the usual sense of work stress, but somehow just that my tolerance is less than usual for the various nuisances associated with dealing with code. At the end of the day I’ve had enough and don’t want more of that in the evening. At weekends I need to recharge.

That seems the simplest explanation, and how it manifests is just that I don’t want to do the thing. What to do in cases like this?

The first approach may be to find some clever way to fit it into whatever grand narrative I really identify with, that’s somehow going to fill me with motivation again. Occasionally something like that works. Not this time though.

Another approach would be to apply grit and willpower. That rarely works either, for me.

But there’s a modified version of that, which is to kind of tune out how I feel and sort of plod through things in a kind of numb way. It’s pretty much the opposite of what I’ve been saying, which has had lots about listening to myself and searching for meaning and all of that. That’s still important but in the immediate term those powerups may not be available and you just have to plod through.

I applied it already this weekend to washing the dishes and cleaning out a cupboard that was getting especially gross. (Incidentally this involved throwing out my only specialized magical item purchased during my psychosis – borage tincture, “used in ancient times to promote courage and to heal broken hearts”. Obviously I used a lot of things for their, er, “off-label” magical properties including baby powder, breakfast cereal etc). That’s besides the point, the point is I tried the plodding thing and it worked.

It also felt a lot better by the time I finished.

I’m gonna try it again now. I’ll get back to you with the results.

Update after a bit: entered something like a flow state, seems ok. Hardly any plodding needed this time. Will see if I can sustain it.

(Checked facebook, responded to a message but otherwise apparently still on track?)

(Another break soon after to eat an avocado. Not quite at the stage where I explicitly need to plod again, but do need some more focus somehow)

Yeah ok, it’s kinda late at night but at least the approach seemed to work. I’ll try to remember that for next time.


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