Ever since I got back from Florida I've been dragging my feet. (Heck, I've been dragging my feet for quite a while now.) I finally got fed up with it and decided to sit down and try to figure out what the heck is going on. I've tried before to attack the problem analytically, with no real results; so this time I figured I'd just sit down and write things as they came to mind, hoping for some subconscious process to spill the beans and reveal some patterns in my thought, and thereby find some solution to the problem.
Here's what I blurbled - with only minor edits so that things make sense and are suitable for general audiences:
I don't feel like working.
I don't want to reply to my email.
I want to relax and/or goof around all the time.
I don't want to feel like I'm under pressure.
But I do want some pressure, so I feel useful.
I want to get work done, but I don't want to do work.
My attention span is very low for certain things and I've been having an unusually hard time focusing.
I feel like there are many things I need to "catch up on" on a daily basis (GDNet, games, etc.)
These things are really nothing more than ritualized addictions
After doing the rituals I usually feel "lost" - I want more rituals to do, and don't feel like starting work
Of course the solution is to do work first and foremost at the beginning of the day, and have no "morning ritual" - the reitual activities should be done only after work has been done
In some cases it is permissible to use ritual activities as a sort of zen-slap to refocus the mind; but of course mental activity has to be started first. Can't get slapped into starting.
Writing out thoughts helps release mental buildup and aids in achieving clarity
I am bady disciplined in allocating the time I have - procrastination builds on itself
I continue to think of things as "Get All This Work Done" instead of "Make a small start" which leads to feeling overwhelmed, and feeds paralysis
Due to my circumstances, I don't feel any direct pressure on a daily basis to get my job done
Sometimes I get a feeling of "I'm ready to do work now" but often this comes in the middle of other activities. I usually put off the feeling until I finish the other activity, and as a result lose the feeling - then continue the activity, and so on. Instead I should be willing to let this feeling interrupt other activities, drop games/blog reading/etc., and immediately go to work.
Self-evaluation is helpful.
Removing excess thoughts from the mind - putting them onto paper - helps analyze them cleanly, which in turn helps attain mental clarity
So there's my mind dump. I managed to get some stuff done today - more than the rest of the week so far - which is good. I'm looking at working through the night since I'm wired and full of sugar and caffiene, so we'll see if this helps keep me productive.
Anyways, on the whole, I strongly recommend trying this. Even if you don't really find any solutions, it's tremendously relaxing to at least spell out the problem. The best part is, since it's now written on paper, you can let it out of your mind. You don't have to worry about forgetting it, because you can just read your notes again if you do forget. Seems kind of silly and circular, but so far it looks like it's successfully gotten me around a nasty mental block.