Sep 05 2007

Getting my Stuff Together

Published by at 8:28 pm under blogging,random

I’ve been quiet this week.

You know sometimes you just feel a bit flat – well exhausted, really. Devoid of energy, enthusiasm, inspiration. And overwhelmed. Ideas don’t seem to flow well, and there are things that you *know* you should doing. And things that you want to do, but you can’t seem to get past the wall because of the “shoulds”. It’s all a bit of deja vu, but I guess we all have it from time-to-time.

In the spirit of Craig Harper’s Get yer sh1t together, I’ve spent the last three days catching up on “shoulds” and feel a lot better for it. Still a lot of stuff to do, but I’m trying to find balance.

I think it’s time to declare RSS fed bankruptcy again. I swear I saw 1000+ unread posts in Google reader. But maybe my eyes were playing tricks on me. I don’t think it displays a count above 100+.

Funnily enough at the height of my energy dip (yeah, I know that’s an oxymoron) and just before bed on Monday night (after a 16 hour day), Liz Strauss (whose blog and style I have long admired) graciously linked out to me in her belated BlogDay post.

Here’s me thinking, great, I haven’t answered any comments for two days (not at all like me), and anyone arriving at the site would see a picture of a “suspect looking object” smack in their face. Probably not the first impression one would chose to make…. So what do you do? I quickly published a post that I had in draft, which I was planning on polishing. And groaned at the irony.

And then as if reading my mind, a day later Liz writes 10 ways to Kill the Kudzo and get your Blogging Mojo Back.

I’m getting there.

How do you get your mojo back? Any words of wisdom?

19 responses so far

19 Responses to “Getting my Stuff Together”

  1. Liz Strausson 05 Sep 2007 at 9:06 pm

    Hi Meg,
    That malaise thing seems to be going around. So many people are feeling the same way. Several folks have responded to my post the same way — and I actually wrote that post in response to a post that I read by a good friend because he and I were feeling the same thing.

    I’m coming out of it now. :)

  2. Megon 05 Sep 2007 at 9:17 pm

    Hi Liz

    I wonder if it’s a coincidence, or that just more conscious of others who echo our moods?

    Glad to hear you’re coming out of it, at least you found the energy to be inspiring in the midst :) Thanks

  3. Kinon 05 Sep 2007 at 10:21 pm

    I’ve been having it too.

    I’m sticking to short posts. It helps that things are going on in my life people seem interested in. Baby scans, taking my kids to the Dorothy Dance Party etc. Short posts have snapped me out of it. I’ve done two today and am thinking about a 3rd.

  4. Megon 05 Sep 2007 at 10:49 pm

    Hey Kin – yes, short posts are the order of the day here too. Most unlike me!

    I had to drop by and check out the scan. Beautiful πŸ˜€ Kind of makes me clucky all over again – I wonder if it ever fades….

  5. Snoskredon 05 Sep 2007 at 10:56 pm

    This blog post from you almost inspired a blog post from me, this comment is long enough.. here’s a few of my thoughts. I was feeling a lot like this a few months ago.

    1. I think it is partly a change of season thing. I’d be feeling it a bit too if I weren’t moving, I usually feel it during the week of a season change but worst of all for me is always the one where we go into winter.

    2. OMG I totally know that feed reader feeling. I’ve been marking a couple of the Bumpzee communities (the ones I have already pulled the better blogs out of and subbed to them individually) read without reading them lately. I’ve given myself permission to do that in order to get all the other stuff done that I need to do.

    I suggest –

    – divide your feeds into smaller groups, no more than 10 blogs in each group. When you have completed a task and want to take a break, read one group. That’s how I get through so many blogs in my reader.

    – for anyone feeling that completely overwhelmed feeling? Put aside one hour for reading. At the end of that hour, mark all read. You’ll feel better afterwards. πŸ˜‰

    – Admit to yourself (this was hard) that there are some blogs you really REALLY want to read, and there are some you aren’t quite so keen on. Instead of putting all the ones you really want to read into one folder, which would mean those get read and the ones you don’t love get ignored, make sure to mix them up with the other blogs, so there’s maybe 2 must read blogs mixed in with the not so must read blogs. This will help you get through your feeds. πŸ˜‰

    Wow, that one almost turned into a blog post of its own, I may have to make it into one sometime. πŸ˜‰

    3. Time management is key. I’m getting better and better at it. I completely swear by that day planner thing. If not for that, right now I would be nutty loopy insane. If it can keep me sane and focused while moving? It’s a miracle. I’m sold. It is my new religion. I want to testify to others about it. hehe.

    4. Polish when you have a spare 5 minutes, the same idea as reading a feed reader group.

    I have one text file, it’s called blogs2write. All my stuff in progress is in that file. It is the first file I open at the start of the day. It’s the last file I close. Whenever I have finished a task on my day planner list and I want to sit down for five minutes, I spend that five minutes polishing things in blogs2write.

    These days most of the blog articles I publish have been works in progress for 2 weeks or more. I think the difference between one of those and one I throw together is very noticeable but maybe it’s just me. πŸ˜‰

    5. Keep a secret weapon for future link surprises.

    Put together a few posts with a bit of basic info about yourself, perhaps like a basic newcomers guide to Meg, and link back to some of your best ever posts or perhaps some of the series you’ve done – with little excerpts from the post and if you’ve had any new thoughts on that post. You’ve got a lot of fodder for this, as I well know. πŸ˜‰ You could probably put 5 posts like that into your to publish “in an emergency” folder. Again using the same trick as above, polish them when you have a spare 5 minutes, and by the time you need to post them they will be ready and brilliant. πŸ˜‰

    6. Probably you saw my little tick off checklist thing? They are the essential tasks that I do every day. Since I put reply to comments on there, I’ve found it a lot easier to keep on top of them. πŸ˜‰ It seems like a stupid and insane idea, but guess what? IT WORKS! :) I love it. I love seeing ticks in all those boxes. Accomplishment of simple tasks has become like a drug to me. πŸ˜‰ rofl lol but it pushes me to do those things, so I can put a tick there.

    7 And finally, reward yourself. πŸ˜‰ If there’s ticks in all my boxes at the end of the day, hello Lindt Chocolate! πŸ˜‰ I get 2 pieces. πŸ˜‰

    I have found so much more time in my day simply by being focused and being driven to put ticks in boxes. I know it sounds crazy but I am loving it. πŸ˜‰ And Craig is a major inspiration source for me.

    Feel better!

  6. Megon 05 Sep 2007 at 11:08 pm

    Hey Snos

    You’re right there’s a few posts in that there comment – but thanks for cheering me up :)

    I have been following your productivity tips and your discipline is inspiring but somehow depressing at the same time (especially the photos of your lovely clean workspace – remind me *not* to show you my office when you come over, or it may be a once off event, and the end of a nice friendship πŸ˜‰ ). When I say depressing I mean in the sense that I don’t imagine ever being that organised – hey, but I’m getting there.

    Thanks for all your pointers and I hope all is going well with the move.

  7. Snoskredon 05 Sep 2007 at 11:16 pm

    I never dreamed I would be organised either, Meg. πŸ˜‰ I absolutely can’t believe it. Truly!

    I am shocked. The Other Half is completely blown away by it. He can’t believe this new me. In fact I believe both he and Sephy are terrified of this new version of me and they’re too scared to tell me so. πŸ˜‰

    You know what? I’ll come down and show you a few of these tricks I’ve learned and how easy and simple they really are.. πŸ˜‰ hehe it’s just a matter of putting systems in place, and then sticking to them πŸ˜‰


  8. Megon 05 Sep 2007 at 11:18 pm

    Hey cool, my own organisation guru. Thanks mate πŸ˜€

  9. Sephyrothon 05 Sep 2007 at 11:27 pm

    I used to be really bad when it came to feed bankruptcy (an awesome term btw), but I’ve made some changes and now I am able to say that I’m on top of my feeds.

    The biggest thing was to take the feeds with the most unread items (i.e. Bumpzee feeds, and feeds like Lifehacker, Neatorama, and Mashable) and put them into their own folders. I then read the whole folder using the list view, only reading items where the title pops out at me. After getting to the end of the feed, I hit mark all read.

    And, yeah, Google apparently doesn’t know how to count beyond 100 in reader; it doesn’t make any sense. πŸ˜‰


  10. Kinon 06 Sep 2007 at 8:42 am

    Thanks Meg, baby scans are special πŸ˜‰ I can’t believe how excited I am at having another pink one! I honestly thought I’d be disappointed to end up with three pink ones, but I’m quite excited to be honest πŸ˜‰

  11. jenon 06 Sep 2007 at 9:56 am

    I’ve written about this very thing, ie How I get my blogging groove back time and time again.

    It is a phase and will pass.

  12. Megon 06 Sep 2007 at 11:22 am

    @ Sephyroth – it is a cool term, isn’t it. Unfortunately I can’t take the credit! Some practical advice, thanks :)

    BTW, I think it’s probably a good idea that Google don’t count over 100 – then I’d feel even more overwhelmed.

    @ Kin – I love my boy (the oldest), but I was also excited to have a third “pink” one :)

    @ Jen – thanks for that link. Helpful tips coming from a long time blogger :)

  13. […] was right. I did see it! I think it’s time to declare RSS fed bankruptcy again. I swear I saw 1000+ unread […]

  14. Caiton 11 Sep 2007 at 3:47 pm

    I use Netvibes, which has tabs. Each tab has a designated priority, and only one of these tabs is “must read every post” group. I have 39 other groups, some feeds are in more than one group and posts that are missed, stay missed unless someone points them out.

    RSS is a river of news, you can’t read it all. Actually that goes for the rest of the net too.

    You’re feeling drained, you need Mind Like Water.

    I highly recommend Getting Things Done by David Allen and The Productivity Show podcast on The Podcast Network.

  15. Megon 11 Sep 2007 at 3:55 pm

    Thanks for the tips Cait.

    Actually, I finally got through them all, and have split up them into 7 groups – I might look at further splitting up if need be….

    39 groups – that’s a lot!

  16. Martin Neumannon 11 Sep 2007 at 9:02 pm

    Hey Meg – funny you should mention the “mojo” thing, cause I’ve had a post in draft for a few weeks now about how I’ve gotten my blogging mojo back – just gotta post it. :-)

    I second NetVibes – everything all in the one place, the tabs are a Godsend.

    I also recommend being ruthless with your RSS feeds – get to know your niche and dump the rest.

    I’ve noticed over the years I’ve been blogging that nearly every blogger I’m semi-close to goes though this blogging apathy thing (it’s more common than you think) – it’s sort of like a blog depression, you just can’t stand the sight of your blog, blogging and the blogosphere.

    Those passionate about blogging usually get back to it after a few days, those less so are lost forever to blogging.

    When I lose that mojo, I simply leave the computer and get out and forget about it all for a few days. Golf, shopping, cafe’s, beach, restaurants, meeting friends, going to the footy, having a drink or four…

    And then I’m back.

    I also have a blog that is more personal – ie: I say WTF I want not caring about what others think – it’s a great release. I can bitch and moan and groan and love anything I fancy: music, art, films, books …

  17. Megon 12 Sep 2007 at 12:07 pm

    Thanks Martin

    “…funny you should mention the β€œmojo” thing, cause I’ve had a post in draft for a few weeks now about how I’ve gotten my blogging mojo back – just gotta post it. :-)

    Best chuckle I’ve had in ages.

  18. Caiton 16 Sep 2007 at 10:46 pm

    While I have 39, most of those aren’t read on a regular basis, but it’s a collection of feeds I’ll follow for certain kinds of news, like Space news, which I only follow in detail for shuttle launches or other major events.

    I also use the Netvibes tabs for GTD, utilising the To Do lists.

  19. Sephy's Platzishon 25 Sep 2007 at 3:14 pm

    Improving your Google Reader Experience…

    Over the last few weeks, one thing that would keep me from actually reading blogs was the way I was reading them. For as long as I can remember, my Google Reader just read “100+” for the number of unr……