Monday, January 3, 2011

When the Big Mo Becomes the Big Slow

It’s tough to go back to work following vacation. It’s always tough to go back to school after an extended hiatus. It’s a challenge. More appropriately, it’s a struggle.

Struggle. It’s a word that just sounds sluggish. It even looks …. blah.

Struggle is what’s on my mind today. Following yesterday’s reflection on all that things I didn’t do, the natural thought process is to look at why I didn’t do them. What is it that keeps me from focusing on the task at hand or the goal that’s been set? And similarly to yesterday’s post in which I could have rattled off a laundry list of reasons, I think what I struggle most with is routine.

Working from home affords me a world of luxuries. I’ve come to accept it as my professional status quo - for now - and I really enjoy the perks of having no commute, sleeping in just a little bit longer, and always having a freshly brewed pot of coffee when I wake up (thanks again to my mother-in-law Patsy).

Still, the one glaring drawback of having my home office be my day office is that I really have no routine. Every morning is a little bit different. Every day progresses in its own way, meandering from morning to afternoon to early evening. Throw in the days when my kids are out of school, as they are this week, and any semblance of structure goes completely out the window.

What’s really bothersome is I know the underlying problem with the lack of routine, and my subsequent inability to deliver and produce the way I feel I can and should, is discipline. Discipline. It’s the opposite of struggle. It sounds cold, hard, and brash. It’s clinical. Hearing the word conjures up the image of R. Lee Ermy in Full Metal Jacket. Or better yet, of him in the Geico commercial as a therapist. All the while, I feel like the jackwagon looking for a way to mamby pamby land so I can get my ship in order.

What’s really interesting is that I can easily get fired up over a new project or some new venture. But it’s the lack of mental discipline that leads to no sense of real consistency which, in turn, leads to the total loss of momentum. If only I could bottle up the excitement and enthusiasm that comes with the feeling of new - much like this writing project Lee and I have undertaken - and draw from it when I fell my brain has down-shifted a couple of gears.

Perhaps that’s the real lesson here. Discipline, routine and consistency are easier to find when there’s the presence of the big stick called accountability. I am writing everyday in part because it’s a challenge, but also because I don’t want to disappoint my wife. We agreed to do this together and I don’t want to bail on her and all the hard work she’s put forth so far. What I don’t seem to understand is why it’s so easy to disappoint myself. Why is it that I can’t seem to hold myself accountable? That is the first struggle I must overcome if I am going to realize any real changes this year.


lpgoodall said...

Jeff and I were just talking about finding and keeping motivation last night. You are in good company with others who "struggle" with the same warp speed to no speed syndrome!

You are right on about the importance of having an accountability partner. Finding that in your spouse is critical for sharing journeys such as these!

Jeff said...

Ditto what my accountability partner said!