Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Procrastination v. Productivity

Dear Dr. Roonie,

I think I may have a mental problem. For relatively long periods of time, I can go to work and get alot done, and enjoy doing it all. Work is fun and it is very satisfying to see progress on the various projects I work on.

My problem is that between these periods of productivity, I have significant (sometimes lasting a month or so, but usually less time than that), I go into a "funk." By that, I mean I can't get anything done; I have no motivation; I delay, procrastinate, and do the absolute bare minimum to eek by without any noticing I'm really not doing anything (hopefully).

What's my problem, and how do I fix it? BTW, I'm a lawyer.

I'm Soooooo Funked Up

Dear Funked Up,

Being a law student, I can sympathize with your cyclical enthusiasm. It is incredibly frustrating when the work is there, but the motivation isn't. That can lead you to sink further into your funk, wondering when you'll ever be productive again.

My advice is to break away from the work completely for awhile. You can't be expected to operate at full throttle 100% of the time. Do the minimum that is required to get by, and reinvigorate YOURSELF. Sit down with a Newsweek, find yourself an awesome new CD, or get out to the gym and, instead of participating in monotonous activities, try playing squash or swimming or get into a karate class. You need to refresh your spirit, your energy, and your vigor for life in down times such as the ones you experience. Go out and commiserate with friends, eat some food you really like. It's like taking a few hours of vacation each day. You'll be surprised as to what it'll do for your psyche.

Hope that was good. I feel ya, dawg.

Eat, drink, and be merry,
Dr. Roonie

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