lrb's recent activity

  1. Comment on I'm stuck in an endless loop in ~health

    lrb
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    I experience exactly the same waves. 1-2 weeks of motivation and clarity, followed by 1-2 weeks of feeling emotionally stunted, dumb, lazy and uninspired. I'm actually in awe that someone else has...

    I experience exactly the same waves. 1-2 weeks of motivation and clarity, followed by 1-2 weeks of feeling emotionally stunted, dumb, lazy and uninspired. I'm actually in awe that someone else has described the same situation (very well, I have to say...) - to the point that I think we should talk more?

    What has helped me is to try and chip away at the extremes of the peaks and troughs. Make my ambitions in the "up" weeks slightly move achievable and easier to stick to, and to accept anything above rock bottom in the "down" weeks (for example, if I do 1 thing at work all day, be happy with that). My theory is that one day I'll gradually get to some constant (ish) equilibrium.

    But I have no more answers than that I'm afraid - I've struggled too. Do you want to swap notes and see if we can get some more answers together?

    6 votes
  2. Comment on How do you stay productive and stay focused? in ~life

    lrb
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    You can't. At least, that's what I've come to understand. Perpetual, always-on productivity is at worst a myth, at best a rare quality in rare people. There are things that affect your ability to...

    You can't.

    At least, that's what I've come to understand. Perpetual, always-on productivity is at worst a myth, at best a rare quality in rare people. There are things that affect your ability to focus and produce results, but forcing yourself to be like that is not one of them.

    Do you want to feel focused and undistracted, or do you really want to achieve certain things?

    I would suggest concentrating on the results you want. You might be able to "focus" for 2 hours per day and achieve them. Spending the rest of the day reading, relaxing, eating, walking or anything else is not wasting your life, is not a negative, is not something to feel ashamed of or bad for.

    There are many reasons why you may be struggling to achieve what you want to achieve. For me, the most common have always been:

    • The task is too hard and I don't believe I can currently do it, so I avoid doing it rather than facing I am not perfect.
    • The task is too vaguely defined and I don't understand the practical steps needed to do it.
    • I don't truly believe the task is worth doing (regardless of how other people see it).
    • Some baseline, human need such as survival, keeping your house, etc. is dependent on the task and it's stressful.

    Focus and productivity are normally dependent on emotional states like these. Are you afraid? Are you bored? They adjust your concentration levels like a dial. They tell you to avoid what you're doing, shut down - do something else.

    The good news is you can change your emotional states. You can rearrange what you are working on to appeal to what you truly want. You can find meaning and purpose in the most mundane thing by trying to link it to your personal goals. And you can spot when you're hiding from doing something because you're scared - and be honest with yourself. Learn what you need to learn, if it's what you want.

    But accept that 100% focus and achievement is that myth. Your life will be a nuanced mixture of achievement, leisure, pain, mystical joy, boredom, stimulation and distraction. The more you relax with that idea, the easier it is to concentrate and be productive.

    7 votes
  3. Comment on I'm on a mass social media detox (Twitter, Instagram, etc.) - What blogs that you read regularly should I check out? in ~talk

    lrb
    Link Parent
    Great list of blogs, thanks for sharing! Every single one is so enjoyable.

    Great list of blogs, thanks for sharing! Every single one is so enjoyable.

    1 vote
  4. Comment on What did you do this week? in ~talk

    lrb
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    Well, I'll be brutally honest, in case it helps anyone. I've done nothing this week. I think I'm burned out. I'm working from home, so managed to get away with browsing random websites and doing...

    Well, I'll be brutally honest, in case it helps anyone. I've done nothing this week. I think I'm burned out.

    I'm working from home, so managed to get away with browsing random websites and doing anything I could to avoid challenging work. I did't want to, I feel awful for doing it, but it felt compulsive and unavoidable.

    I then found this video which helped clarify a few things for me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYWvUoN4yt8

    I'm hoping next week will be different. I'm using the weekend to keep calm and slow down a bit. And trying to find a balance between forgiving myself, and poking myself in to action.

    Some times I wish I shoveled dirt for a living and didn't think about work after 6pm.

    7 votes