It’s raining, and it’s chilly. The house feels dark even with lots of lights on. I just want to curl up with a book and hibernate. I am fairly disciplined. My to-do list is always nearby, clearly listing everything needing to get done. But some days it’s hard to find the energy – or the will—to tackle it.
It seemed a bit self-indulgent to use this blog to ruminate on procrastinating and feeling lazy, but we all have to deal with days when focusing on tasks seems like very hard work. How do you turn it around? What can you do to re-charge yourself?
My first rule is to accept where I am. Trying to argue myself out of what I am feeling is not going to change anything. I mentally congratulate me for how much I have accomplished in the past several days. I earned a bit of a break. With this mind set, I can enjoy not working for a bit rather than ruin it with self-deprecating thinking. That only extends the time it takes for me to return to the tasks in hand and makes me unhappy with who I am.
Next rule is to do something I enjoy for a while. I may take an hour to read or thirty minutes to play solitaire on the computer (a personal addiction) or fool around on my Facebook page. Do I adhere to the time limit I set? Not always – particularly if I am playing solitaire. But after a while the time off feels complete and I am ready to return.
It struck me this has implications for us as librarians on the job. There are days you are worrying about some personal problems or the commute to work has left you frazzled. Unless you give yourself a break and acknowledge where you are, you are apt to find the students are acting up and the teachers are being demanding, and basically you feel as though you are always giving and never receiving.
Decide to whatever extent is possible, that at least for a while you will look for the fun. If you are an elementary librarian, choose a few humorous books for storytime. With older students try to give a twist to your lessons. For example, you can point them to this Search Engine List and suggest they try one of the ones they have never used (or heard of) and then compare their results from it with Google. By altering course, you will get back on course more quickly.
And finally, put a smile on your face–even if you don’t feel like smiling. Others will smile back and it will lift your spirits.
Here’s to putting sunshine back in your life –and mine.