Your first reaction is most likely "what? You could not be more wrong, I certainly do not feel broken"
Early 2019, I wrote a piece on how to deal with the deadline syndrome, highlighting ways to be productive and never late on delivering. I even suggested tools that I have found useful over time and have been helping me achieve my desired productive output.
However, Almost 5 months down the line here I am, missing deadlines at almost every turn, unmotivated to Get Shit Done (#GSD), not actively pursuing the goals I had set for myself and no matter what I did to break free from this regression nothing was working. At this point, it would seem I had successfully fallen victim to exactly what I was dishing out tips on how to overcome!
As if that wasn't bad enough, everywhere I looked, it seemed like there was a constant reminder (especially on social media) about how you should be passionate about what you do, and be focused and all that good stuff; Everyone (at least so it seemed) was doing the exact opposite of what I was doing...yeap you guessed it #GSD-ing! Putting out amazing work, talking about how great things are. I could go into details on the several feelings of inadequacy and all its accompanying emotions but surely you don't want to read that, you get the gist already!
SO WHAT DID I DO ABOUT IT?
I did what every sane person would, I overcame! I dusted myself off and got back up. No!
While I was looking for things to help increase my motivation levels with hopes that I overcome this challenge, I stumbled upon a podcast by Design Life (Hosted by Charli Prangley and Femke Van Schoonhoven) titled "Every Designer feels broken inside". The 35-minute podcast made me realise that I was being too hard on myself. I was simply putting my imperfect self into a 100% perfect world that just doesn't exist.
I realised that, as it was rightly said in the Design Life podcast "we sometimes go through the highs and lows of not having high energy levels, or not feeling passionate about the work we do and during all those periods, we still project the image that everything is just dandy because it makes us look good"
All the "good work" being put out isn't just because we want to show the world what we've been up to but there remains a factor in which everyone is scared of being vulnerable and so don't share the things they struggle within their craft.
After this realisation, I took downtime to come to terms with the fact that I was not alone, I stopped beating myself up. I hit reset and gradually started working my way back to that high productivity level. If I stumble again in my journey back up, guess what; I will pick up where I left off.
This isn't to say you should be too lenient on yourself, but you need to have the mindset that whatever it is you may be struggling with you're not alone and that person you think is perfect, more than likely has his/her own challenges to battle with. Another thing to note as well is (and I’m sure you’ve heard this several times before), it’s better not to try todo this alone; Talk to someone close to you that you are comfortable sharing such information with. I got a lot of support from family and my colleagues at ingressive; all that coupled with my own efforts is what’s keeping me going at the moment.
To cap this off, I strongly recommend checking out "How to deal with the deadline syndrome"’ it contains steps to help improve productivity that I will definitely go back to. You may find this amazing video by AceKyd touching on when or if you ever stop learning useful as well.