I often get frustrated—mostly because of how easy it is to distract me. Most times I can deal with everything going on, but if I get interrupted too many times when I’m focused on getting something done, I quickly lose my patience. And once I’ve lost it, that’s pretty much my default emotional state for the rest of the day. Suddenly, everything is frustrating. Not just ‘Oh, bother’ irritating, like fury of the gods smashing things. A typo begets mashing on keyboard. Another ‘One more thing…” from a developer has me throwing things. I literally have to shut down to avoid breaking things and it can take all day to recover.
Typically, this isn’t a problem. I can manage to avoid getting to frayed nerves of rage levels on most days—but lately that’s not been the case. I’m at wits end by ten am and can’t get away to calm down, I spend the whole day with a pounding headache and tingling fists from hammering the wall to avoid snapping my work laptop in half. I’ve spent the last two weeks in either a blind rage or an apathetic slump. By time five rolls around, if I’m actually able to get away from the computer and I’m not being bombarded still. I’m so exhausted from the day that trying to write anything, much less involved stories is near impossible.
I think this is in large part why I’ve fallen off creatively and why I spend so much of my time now just working on things that are half finished instead of creating new things. Editing is a different section of my mind, a part that’s more resilient to the effects of frustration. Editing lets me refine an idea and get out of my head, but is still grounded enough that I can stop doing it on a moment’s notice and come back to it later. Or at least it did, I can’t speak for how I’ve been recently.
That’s actually what I’m trying to figure out, why am I so uproductive of late? Is it really just that day after day is getting blown entirely by being pushed past my frustration limit before it’s even lunch time? Or does the lack of hard deadlines just reveal how little initiative I’m in possession of? Is my depression to blame? Likely, its some combination of the above. Which begs the question, what can I do about it?
The obvious answer is to get another job. Which is, I think, where a lot of my anxiety is coming from. I keep finding myself lacking for any position that might be interested in hiring me. Sometimes by just a little, other times by orders of magnitudes, but I don’t know what to do to fix it. I figure most of the jobs that are entry level won’t hire me because I’m a semester away from finishing my masters and have three years experience. Jobs that are looking for someone with my level of experience in my field typically want an active security clearance since I’d be dealing with classified systems. Other jobs in my grade outside of my field are…well beyond me really. I have a non-zero amount of UX knowledge, but not enough to pass myself off as a designer and don’t really know what to do about getting better on that front. The same can applied to web-design, networking, project management, event planning, teaching, technical writing…the list goes on. It might be easier to find a direction to go if that list had fewer elements, or if I was any better at one thing over the others—but that’s not the case. In fewer words: I need to figure out what I want to do so I can move on.
Failing that, I need to figure out where my burst of productivity came from, harness it in some form or another and get creative again.
Anyway, ‘til next time!