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The Slow Motion Syndrome

posted on 05 Aug 2011

Some days it's hard to focus, to-do lists grow long, emails go unread and the ours slowly go by. I call it the Slow Motion Syndrome.

Maybe you have had it too sometimes: you slow down for some reason and slip to a low point from where you can't climb out. Stuff accumulates, catching up becomes difficult and you end up short of breath and nothing much done.

While it's ok to have few slow days, if it goes on for some time, it gets really difficult to shake it off.

I have not found a way to prevent it, but I have developed a strategy to get back on track.

1: Today I'm useless and I have to live with that

Do not start dunking coffee to counter it; no coffee or tea at all is best. Do not set any goals for the day, small or big. Do not even pretend you are working. Stay at home if you can. Walk slowly.

Just accept that today is slow.

2: Get bored

Do not try to kill time. Do not do anything that you don't feel strongly about: no going on random wikipedia pages, no cleaning your inbox, no reading old xkcd comics. No fake work, especially.

Stare at the screen if you have to. I mean it.

3: Do one thing

After some time of total boredom, your brain will be screaming for action and will be piping out with ideas. With some luck you'll remember something that you always wanted to do if you only had time: learn a new language, learn a new programming language, resolve a Rubik cube, start a blog, whatever.

Well, now you have the time, so get to it. With some luck you'll get into it and cycle up to higher activity level. Once you get there, you'll naturally pick up your other stuff.

Do you suffer from SMS? Do you have an exit strategy?


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