Beating the post deadline blues & staying inspired
April 1st 2010
I’ve just finished the biggest slog on our current main project, namely the ExpressionEngine CMS development for the redesign of Yogacampus.com. Before that I worked on the user profiling, research & specification and the information architecture, so I’ve been pretty much go go go since we started this project in the new year.
We ran this project a little differently than we’ve done in the past though, so the visual design and front-end development has yet to be finished. It’s worked really well so far actually: we skipped wireframes and went from page descriptions to developing a dynamic ‘prototype’ while we worked on a brand refresh at the same time.
But ever since the pressure came off from meeting my deadline I’ve found myself unfocused, impatient and irritable. I now have a much freer schedule which seems like a great opportunity get on with some of those ‘odd job’ or ‘rainy day’ tasks that are cluttering up my Omnifocus. Or I could be sorting through boxes of our stuff that needs to be shifted into storage in a month when we head off on our North American Adventure. But I am struggling to do any of these things. I’m certainly lacking enthusiasm even when I do get stuff done.
At 7.30 pm this evening, having realised that I was no longer capable of working even though the light evening was attempting to trick me into thinking I could, I wrapped up warm and headed out to collect my veg bag in a grump. I grabbed North’s iPod shuffle because I didn’t feel like listening to anything I knew I had on my own iPod so thought I’d go with whatever random thing turned up next on his playlist. (He also is better at finding uplifting music than I am!)
After a couple tracks what do I hear by the familiar voice of Paul Boag coming on to introduce a Boagworld podcast, which I’m just about to skip past because I’m ‘not in the mood’ when I get thrown by his cheeky little addition to the usual introduction “[in a whisper] hire Headscape!” and I keep listening. Next thing I know I’m back home cooking up a nice dinner (including grilled sprouting brocolli – a particular favourite seasonal treat of mine) and feeling totally inspired and switched on about work and web design and the whole sh-bang.
The show was the one where Mike Kus and Keir Whitaker from Carsonfied interview Paul Boag and Marcus Lillington from Headscape (the Headscape fellas are usually the hosts of the podcast). And I found this interview fascinating. It was good to hear Paul and Marcus answering someone else’s questions for a change, and they asked all the right questions. All those things that I wonder about whenever I listen to the show. Paul and Marcus aren’t afraid to talk about their own way of doing things as it comes up on the show, but there’s always been some outstanding questions and a general overview of how Headscape is structured and what they process is that I was missing.
Anyway, point being it lifted me out of this blue funk I was in. And its silly really, because I usually listen to Boagworld every week because it entertains, keeps me informed, and makes me feel like I’m not working in a vacuum. But because I’ve been so busy working to meet a deadline and worrying about other things I haven’t been listening.
Stephanie Hobson tweeted earlier
“When I get stressed out I forget to eat and rest, how is this a useful survival mechanism?”@stephaniehobson
to which I responded
“Why, when I get stressed out, do I forget to do the things that usually cheer me up?”@gradualist
Which is the same thing really. We need to rest and eat to keep our brains working and stay healthy, we need to take some recreation/inspiration to keep ourselves sane and happy.
Don’t let being too busy get in the way of doing those—seemingly unessential—little things that keep you happy and enthused about life and work.