To Everything There Is A Season…
At the beginning of March, I had a very weird couple of weeks. Try as I might, I could not bring myself to do any significant work other than a few articles. It was as if the storms that swept over the town took my focus, inspiration and motivation with them.
I did not give up without a fight. In the first days, I sat diligently for hours in front of the computer. I brought all my tools neatly around me. I studied and looked for inspiration. I stood and I paced. I scolded myself.
I took a break, watched a movie. And another. Oh, there’s a new box set on Netflix!
…and on and on for days. I didn’t feel like talking to anybody, and I only went out with my dog or to get groceries. I felt I was falling down the rabbit hole, I watched myself falling, but I was unable to do anything about it. And beating myself up didn’t change anything (at least not for the better).
I had binged watched TV series before, but for weekends, not for weeks. Why was it different this time?
Was it because I missed reading stuff that wasn’t purely for work?
Was I depressed?
Was it because of the stress and uncertainty in my life right now?
At some point, the hungry beast that watched avidly other people’s lives and adventures unfolding was satisfied and retreated in the darkness. I went back to work feeling surprisingly energised and focused, all systems up and running. I wanted to create my own adventures and success again.
Yesterday I came across an article about metrics to be tracked in your business. A very interesting notion that resonated with me was that of tracking your creativity cycles because creativity too is seasonal. Some seasons you can have thousands of ideas, other seasons, you can have nothing: no ideas, no inspiration, no motivation (and by ‘season’, I mean days/weeks/months/etc.)
The author said she used to freak out when she lost her mojo. She doubted herself and what she was doing when she entered a season of zero creativity.
Then she decided to start tracking how she felt in terms of motivation and inspiration in her business. Soon she learned that a season of fresh enthusiasm always follows a season of indifference.
It made sense to me. Everything in nature has cycles and rhythms; why do we expect us to be any different?
I find keeping track of certain things to be appealing. Maybe it’s the perfectionist in me; maybe it’s my experience from the years when I was an engineer. Either way, it can be a valuable tool both in understanding and in improving ourselves and our performance.
And sometimes it can be relieving.
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