For reasons I don't quite understand, this week has been incredibly long. There has been almost no motivation to do any work and, worse still, the work that I have tried to do has been absolutely awful. Today, despite several attempts to shake the lack of creativity and energy, I've managed to accomplish absolutely nothing aside from the bare minimum … which is not at all what I need to be delivering in the next couple of days. I am, for all intents and purposes, stuck in what appears to be burnout for the second time in 2019, and the fourth time since May of last year. What the heck is going on?
Generally when I run head first into burnout there is an unhealthy dose of depression that goes along with it. Unfortunately the only way out of this unproductive rut is to plough right through, forcing things to get done in the hope that something will trigger the dark cloud to go away, allowing creativity to return and the lethargy to dissipate. When I first started encountering these low-points in the late 90s, they would generally last for a day or two at most. The current incarnations are much more persistent, often stealing a week or two of my time, making every waking moment while working at the day job feel like an eternity.
This run of sluggishness is different in that there doesn't appear to be any signs of depression. Instead there is just an ambivalence to getting work done, which makes no sense.
Two deadlines arrive tomorrow with a third this coming Tuesday. If I can't shake this lack of motivation, then schedules will slip. While nothing I work on is of life-and-death importance, any delay that I cause will have a domino effect on the rest of the project. It's true that I haven't been sleeping all that well over the last couple of months — if not years — so this may have something to do with it. Tonight, rather than invest some time into client work after the day job, I think I'll just head to bed.
Given the substandard quality of the stuff I'm typing today, this is probably the best thing to do.