Having Trouble Getting to Work?

Posted by on Jun 15, 2017 in Blog, Composition, Small Business, Thoughts | 0 comments

Do you have trouble getting to work sometimes? Why?I know I am not alone among my writer friends and colleagues who have a problem writing. This problem is what I call either the need to prime the pump or to get clear and free.

You see, when my head is spinning with all sorts of things – to-dos, ideas, worries and other brain clutter, I can’t settle down enough to write. They spin and whip me into a frenzy that ties my muscles and brain cells into little knots. I have to calm down in order to move ahead – with anything.

Likewise, if my physical space is chaotic, I have much the same problem. Only with this situation, it’s a glaring need to get it cleaned up and organized. It doesn’t necessarily have to be neat-neat-neat, but I have to feel in control of each piece of paper, box, stone, pair of glasses, phone, cups, sweater, book, notebook, and file.

It’s the same with most people in their work, I think

The thing is, I know I am not the only writer who has this dilemma, but I don’t think it is something special that has to do with writers. I think it happens to many other people in their chosen work, too. For instance, one teacher friend used to say she couldn’t sit down and work on report cards until her house was clean. Another person in outside sales said that he couldn’t set off on Monday morning without his car being clean.

So what’s your story? Or do you even realize that you have one?

Have you ever gotten a call or text from a friend who just said they were having trouble getting down to work? When asked what the problem was for them, they might simply say, “I don’t know.” And, chances are, they don’t.

But I would guess that something was unsettled – and unsettling them. It might be their thoughts, or the condition of their workspace. It could be a problem that is weighing heavy on their minds, or the pain of a friend or relationship.

Whatever it is, we have to call it what it is – a distraction that prevents us from settling into the space were we really PERFORM. Where our best work happens. Where we can get things done and feel productive.

Just think about that when you feel a pull to do something other than your work – or nothing at all.

What’s the solution?

In my case, and I can only tell you what works for me, I have to address the mess – in my head or on my desk. I have to sort through the chaos and put it in order. Sometimes it helps to take care of a few niggling details that have been left on the list for days – make that appointment, register that appliance, pay a bill, clean out a file.

Sometimes it means stepping out into another environment and doing whatever it is that is nagging me. It could be that I am excited about a genealogy lead that just needs a follow-up. It might be a project that should be down the to-do list, but I am excited about it. Or, it might be I just need to bake something that will make my husband or kids happy.

Whatever it is, I have to take some action to change where my head is reeling. Once I feel a bit more settled, I can usually do some writing – like these blogs – so I can settle into writing my clients need.
Writing is not a production skill for me. It is creation to me. It is communicating in a way that someone else will relate to and understand. And that is for every piece that I compose – a blog, a Facebook post, a blurb or page on a website, an article, a press release – whatever it is. If the writing doesn’t connect with a reader, it’s not done its job and is just a jumble of letters and words.

Because of that, in order to do my work, I have to continually pay attention to what my head is absorbing so I don’t fill it up with the hopeless complaints and drama that swirls around us.

We have all heard that we become the sum of the five people closest to us. Not only do we absorb those around us, we let them affect our work and what we produce.

So the next time you are feeling you can’t face what you have in front of you to do, think about why. Awareness is the first step to making change that is effective for the long term.

Just think about it…


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