Yesterday, I wasn’t able to keep up with my work quota (i.e., word count). I have come up with amusing excuses – some sounded valid, others I could hardly believe I was claiming to experience.
- The sight of my work desk. The PC’s wires aren’t exactly melding well with the rest of my tabletop objects. I was always thinking of ways to hide these pesky slithers from sight, but… they’re persistent. Thinking of ‘ways’ occupied my mind (as if it wasn’t already operating non-stop) and my precious time.
- I came across vague specifics. I don’t know about you, but in working with writing projects, I prefer folks to be very, very specific. In layman’s term, they must know what they are asking for a written piece – and express it in concrete terms. The vague instruction (which I won’t specify to be vague, as well) kept me… occupied. And I think and thought to such extent that no actual writing happened.
- I couldn’t stop thinking! And by thinking, I’m talking about mental speech. A lot of blah-blahs are happening – not that this is strange. As a self-confessed introvert, internal dialogue is second nature to me. Yesterday, however, I had a lot of that. And I could hardly whisk my head away from the clouds because, in truth, I like contemplating a whole awful lot.
Obviously, among these excuses of mine, the last one seemed to be the most influential – it could just be the sole culprit!
Writing this experience in past tense, I feel as if I need to find a ‘cure.’
Objectives for the cure-hunt
“I make a living by writing.” But I also do that by creating and developing ideas. These two work hand in hand, and when they don’t, I feel torn. I couldn’t help but punish and berate myself for laying waste a potentially awesome topic – by not working harder on its development.
“I need to live out of my head.” Sure, things are amazing in my lala-land; but spending too much time inside it might cause me terrible trouble. In my job’s context, I ended up not working fully operational, my 110% is absent in the field.
“I laud myself for working hard.” Despite the close inter-meshing of my job and write-life, I’m keen at looking at work as work. In other words, I do adhere to various schemes, like client-orientation. And I’m the sort who could embrace more diligence or hard work if that meant doing it the right way.
I’ve laid out the reasons that first come to mind. Now, it’s time to find me some ‘cure.’
What do I do when my mind wanders at the middle of an intensive writing session? I ponder for some possible answers that could be applicable for me:
- Change my posture or position. I’ve noticed that my travels to lala-land renders my muscles relax, my back almost slouchy. To break the spell, I can improve my posture, sit a bit more straight, or stand up and write.
- I’ll get out and bring lala-land outside. If I find it really hard to stop imagining a scene (like an encounter with a gargantuan winged monster), I must “bring” it out of my work desk. I may go out of the work floor and stay at the pantry for awhile. By doing this, I am ensuring that only good productive work takes place in my desk (with wild imaginings significantly minimized).
- Review the written piece. Yes, my mind may be outside of the working zone. But if I proofread my piece, spotting an error might rouse me (hell, it could shake me up so hard!). This can push me to curtail those daydreaming or internal dialogues even for a short while.
- Go and wash my face. A splash of cold water could actually do the trick. Maybe, introducing an external element could whisk me up – like going downstairs. Hot drinks, like tea, coffee or milk could also enliven the senses.
The list is quite short. Perhaps, in time I’ll be able to add more.
Why I’m thinking nonstop?
Lastly, I can’t help but wonder why this is happening. My reflections went back to my own patterns. Since I was young, I have actively used my imagination to offset some unsavory event that is happening, or just happened.
For instance, when I’ve just suffered a scolding, I will isolate myself in my room. I would look at the wall (which is a common site for nothingness) and start transporting off to some weird-named planet. I will imagine myself as some kind of fugitive and rock the rough neighborhood with gunslinger-level badassery.
When I go back to being the ordinary me, I admittedly feel a whole lot better.
Perhaps, this is what’s happening at work. I may be seeing, feeling, or experiencing things that I don’t like. Imagining conversations or scenes in my head – this might have surfaced as a self-defense mechanism.
Call of duty
And while I will always love that side of me, I know that I also have responsibilities. My job and output affects the work of others – my co-workers, the team of which I belong.
Hence, I will have to strive. I will try. There will be slips here and there, but I can’t let that occur frequently.
Plus, I will have to work on my so-called “mechanisms.” Yes, I owe it to my active imagination: through it I am able to procure interesting perspectives. I make myself feel better. It became an effective coping mechanism – but this approach is not the only method out there.
I also have the choice to face those ‘unsavory events.’ I can think of better solutions and make them work. I can talk with my co-workers or even my boss. I can make things happen, and try to ‘be the change that I seek.’
If I succeed, I don’t just end up feeling better. I could become better.
Perhaps, I could become better to such extent that when I’m off to my lala-land, real people will actually miss me. 🙂