As a general rule, I estimate there there are three basic “modes” under which a person (such as myself) operates: nominal, stressed, burnout. While there could arguably be described a fourth mode, power, it is not a mode that most people find themselves in very often. Nominal would be how you are day-to-day — low to minimal stress load which ultimately doesn’t affect your overall performance because your daily “down-time” resets you. Stressed would be a place where your stress load leaves you with a net loss of energy or performance. You can still function and perform but at a reduced efficiency or pace. Burnout is a place where your efficiency and performance are reduced to bare minimum levels and without actively attempting to get into a place of energy gain it is very hard to get out of.
Every couple of years, I find myself somehow getting into a phase of burnout. Sometimes it lasts a couple of weeks, sometimes months. I’ve probably been in this now for about 3 weeks. I truly felt like progress was being made up until this week. Then something else hit me. I’ve been trying really hard to work out of it by allowing myself to entertain paths and trails of thought that were interesting but unimportant. I gained some energy from those things.
But now I realize that those mental excursions were just another way for me to get “tied up.” I feel those same old habits coming back around like a no-good addiction. Most of these things are not important. So that’s what I’m asking myself lately: “What’s important?”
Aside from a few specific tasks that I do every day plus work and family time… not much. So I think what is going to happen next is that a list of specific things is going to be “turned off” for a while:
- Twitter (which I never really use anyway)
I suppose we’ll see in a week how things turn out.