Every now and then, you have a day when nothing works. A day when you just don’t have the motivation to do what you need to get done for the day. The day starts and it just feels off, it feels like you are spinning on a treadmill moving backwards. Today was one of those days…
It started from the moment I woke up. Something just felt off. I’ve got a bunch of things going right now, and I’ve felt like I’ve been spinning one plate too many for the last couple of weeks, but today was different. Today I just didn’t want to do any of it. I had things to do today, but I just felt lousy. I got up, did the morning routine, got the munchkin off to school, met a friend for coffee, and stopped for a couple of things I needed at the store.
Then I got home. Since I work from home, technically I arrived at work, but it just didn’t feel like a productive day. It didn’t feel like a work day. I felt worse than I did when i got up. There was just a dull ache everywhere. I just felt worn down and exhausted. I just wanted to go back to bed. I wanted to skip today entirely and try it again tomorrow. So as I’m unpacking the groceries, I’m trying to get motivated to start work. And I’m failing completely.
My options were:
- Do nothing. Go back to bed. Catch up on junk on TV that’s stacked up on the DVR.
- Suck it up and just do the work.
Option 1 was in the lead. It was winning by a large margin. And the voice in my head was telling me that it was fine. I could just jump in and do my stuff tomorrow. It didn’t really matter, the deadlines were pretty far out. I had plenty of time. And there was no one around to notice that I wasn’t actually working today.
So. Instead, I grabbed my water bottle and headed into the booth. I wasn’t feeling it. I didn’t want to do it. But its my job. I’m the CEO of “Me, Inc.” I want to take amazing care of my clients. I need to care about the business, MY business. I need to focus on what matters. And catching up on the DVR doesn’t really matter. So I jumped into the booth and got to work. And I’m not going to say that the skies parted and angels sung and everything was perfect again. It wasn’t. It was work. I still felt pretty lousy. And I wasn’t super excited about much of anything. But I tried to set that all aside and do the work, and do it well for my client.
I knocked out a chunk of work, then took a break for lunch. And as a reward for not blowing things off, I watched one episode from the DVR while I was eating lunch. Then I went back into the booth and worked some more. The second session was a little easier. But I still felt lousy, and I still didn’t really want to be in there. But I did the work. I put in the time. And while I still feel lousy tonight, I also feel good about not bailing on the work. One of the hardest parts of working for yourself is avoiding the distractions. Especially when you are working from home. EVERYTHING is a distraction. Facebook, laundry, the giant dust bunny in the corner. And there is no boss around to remind you that you are supposed to be working.
Most of the time, I love working from home and working in solitude. I like being alone to create and innovate and do “my thing” without the distractions of a team or a company or corporate rules. I’m more creative on my own. That’s my superpower. I like working with people one on one. I like listening and really zeroing in on what’s important and then finding a new and unique solution. I like the quiet. But some days the isolation is a problem. Some days the quiet is exceptionally loud. The quiet doesn’t drown out the distractions. It doesn’t drown out the stupid stuff, the frivolous stuff, the pointless stuff. And I can either let those distractions win, or I can narrow my focus and just get back to work. So I made the hard choice and just did the work.
And tomorrow is another day. And tomorrow there will be more distractions. And tomorrow I will do my best to ignore the excuses and the noise and just do the work. Some days the work is amazing, and other days its just work. But it’s my business, and it’s what I really want to do. And every day I have a choice. And I can only try every day to make the right choice and keep moving forward.