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Monday Series: A Story About Exhaustion


I've decided to write these on Monday mornings. Early. Lol, we'll see how long this lasts. I've been really tired. Stress has affected my sleep lately. I haven't fallen asleep before 1am in weeks. More on that later.

Mondays, though. Mondays have always been a bright spot for me. Sure I get the "Monday" feeling at 10am when I'm faced with a thousand questions from colleagues and all the emails I snoozed the previous week. I definitely get that. But, assuming I wake up early enough to have a modicum of free time, I enjoy the promise of a new week. It's inspiring. Even when I was working jobs I hated, I always kind of liked Monday mornings.

So I figured Mondays would be the most optimistic time for me to write this productivity update. 

A Story About Exhaustion

Ok so the problem, if I had to pick one, is that I still don't believe it's possible for me to become a working artist. In my business group, we call this a vampire voice. In my head, it's still called reality. This attitude affects my mood when I work on my C&B stuff. Last night, while feeling particularly "realistic," I told myself that I wasn't allowed to think those thoughts again until after I finished my goal list. 

Reminder:

  1. Finish C&B.com
  2. Update moniquecucchi.com
  3. Explore illustration styles/techniques/avenues/projects

I have never been able to "not think about something" in my 31 years of life but maybe it'll work this time since I gave myself permission to think about it later. In the meantime, I'll just keep going. There is no deadline, there is no obligation to leave my job. There is only the potential of a new business and the chance that it could become something substantial if I slowly make progress against these goals. 

But I'm tired as hell. I haven't been sleeping enough.

Why? Let's make a list:

  1. Coronavirus quarantine stress (out of my control)
  2. I've been working until midnight most nights on all kinds of projects and then I have a hard time winding down (within my control)

So let's assess. Last week, I made a promise to work on goals 1 and 3 for at least 15 minutes each day. I've done a pretty good job of that. I'm still saving them for the end of the day, however. The day gets away from me. I concentrate on smaller tasks on my to do list that are easier for me to accomplish and I save the hard stuff for the end. So, since the 15 minutes already seems to be a habit, this week I should:

  1. Prioritize them. I have lots of things to do in a day. These 15 minute blocks should come first, if I can.
  2. Hold them to 15 minutes. This will give me the permission I need to do them earlier. I can take a 15 minute break from work.
  3. Go back to them again in the evening if I feel like it. Only if I feel like it. 

Hopefully these tactics will remove some of the pressure that builds all day in my current model and allow me to relax more fully at night. I'm actually hoping that I'm able to finish all work at around 8 or 9 this week and give myself an hour or two in the evenings to truly relax and unwind. I don't remember the last time I had a "free" evening.

If I want this business-building to happen without killing me, I can't be working until midnight every night. It's exhausting and by the time we've hit 10pm, I'm running on decision-fatigue fumes, even if my mind and body feel awake. 

I hope the next time we meet, dear readers, I am far less tired.


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