Getting through the beige days

Posted: - Modified: | life

Some days, I feel productive and awesome.

Some days, I feel scattered and distracted. Yesterday was one of those days.

It’s more interesting and less stressful than it used to be. I don’t feel guilty about building things more slowly than I theoretically might be able to. I’m more curious. What’s the difference between this day and another day? How can I tweak life to make the most of these beige-ish moments?

If nothing else, it’s worth writing about, because I’d like to remember and explore this even when things are sunny and vibrant. Writing helps me go back, and writing helps me go forward.

Here are some strategies that might be useful for dealing with these not-entirely-focused days:

Keep a list of small tasks with concrete results. Kickstart momentum by crossing those tasks off.

  • Go through the house and bag things for donation or disposal.
  • Write more tests.
  • Clear my inbox.
  • Balance my books.

Don’t procrastinate by working only on these tasks. Butt-in-chair time is important to writing or coding. Hands-on-keyboard time works too – sometimes I use the kitchen counter as a standing desk. I don’t wait for inspiration to strike before I work on my projects at work, and I don’t need to wait for inspiration to strike before working on my personal projects. Besides, energy and excitement have a funny way of coming when you’re neck-deep in something already.

The trick is to not burn more energy in the process of feeling guilty about not being “on” all the time. When you accept that these days are part of life, it’s easier to make them better.

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