The inescapable vortex of listlessness

I’ve been facing a severe drought of motivation (for my work) for the past few days. This was something that I had faced some time back and wasn’t able to get out of it for nearly a year! All I did was watch TV, surf the internet, procrastinate and do nothing productive.

Something similar is happening to me now and I dread this. I expect that it might get worse unless I do something drastic and break this rhythm of lethargy. This is even more difficult for me because I am usually the one who will be around others, pumping them up and encouraging them to do stuff.

listless picture

This is an old photo. I have stubble now, to go with those ears.

So what should one do when one runs out of enthusiasm for something? I don’t know for sure. I usually just bide my time, waiting for something interesting to come up and get me out of the pits of despair. But this time, I thought I will try something new – I will write about it.

I have discovered (not really the first to do so, obviously) that in the process of writing about something, you are forced to think about it and that allows you to analyze and look at it from a different perspective, that of someone who is reading what you’re writing – a third person.

And that is exactly what is happening right now. As I write this, I am slowly understanding that the root cause of my lack of enthusiasm is my inability to complete the tasks at hand. As they are growing, I am getting anxious and losing the creative impetus that sustains me. Thus stupefying myself with a terrible mix of fear, uncertainty and self-loathing.

I can’t believe it was as simple as that! Hmm.. This actually sort of worked. I guess I’ll just finish some of the things I have to do and sail on the sense of accomplishment that I get from that. How I will focus on it and retain that focus? Well, I wish I knew. Any ideas? :/

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7 comments

  1. Hi Aamil – I can relate to that feeling of being overwhelmed by having so much to do that you end up feeling you can’t do any of it – I often feel like that when I look at the overgrown mess of weeds in the garden. I like to have a clear “To Do” list organised by categories with bullet-pointed tasks that I can cross off when I’ve done them. I also like the fact that my year is divided into chunks determined by the school terms and holidays. So I’ll try to get certain things done by the end of the Easter holidays, and other things done by the end of the summer term and so on. If I’m doing something as open-ended and bewildering as writing a novel then I like to keep a weekly diary of progress (just a few sentences each week) otherwise it can feel like I’m getting nowhere when actually I am making steady progress – I’m just too close to the work to see it. Good luck with your tasks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Margarita! While I had left that question towards the end, I only half expected anyone to take it seriously and respond to it. You have not only responded, but taken the time to be so elaborate about it. Thank you for that.

      I understand from your comment that when we’re doing a lot of work, it is necessary for us to understand that we are making progress. I’ll do that from now on :-)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoyed the title of this article. Good title for a novel? Don’t let the vortex suck you in!

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    1. Glad you liked it :-)

      I managed to do a few things yesterday and I got up earlier than usual, so I’m gung ho about today. Let’s see how that works out :D

      Like

  3. Is apathy contagious?

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    1. Rest assured that it isn’t.

      Like

  4. Good to see that you were able to pin-point what was wrong by (consciously) thinking about the situation through writing. I sometimes get overwhelmed by the many things that I have to and want to do for work and for myself respectively. I find that it helps to write a list of the things to do for work and set deadlines, as well as how much time I would allocate to each work tasks.

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