We’ve all been at that stage. Where seemingly there is so much going on all at once and simply not enough hours in a day. It gets to a point of saturation where we can no longer work efficiently or to our fullest potential. This is how I was feeling towards the end of 2021, so before things really got too much, I had to take a break for a little while.
Toward year’s end, energy levels were becoming depleted and so were my cognitive reserves. It’s the period when seemingly everything needs to be done and done now. Some even have an attitude that it should be done yesterday. It is understandable for the dying months of a year to put up a fight, but this year in particular was ridiculous.
As this blog is written in what little ‘spare’ time I have available, it can be a juggling act to post regularly while giving my primary efforts and energy to an employer and a 40-hour work week. Yet I still push on to publish routinely, albeit sporadic, usually scheduled around self-imposed publishing dates.
Despite these publication dates being arbitrary in nature, there is still weighting and importance attached to them. Should I miss a date, or if there is a delay, it causes a knock-on effect that is almost impossible to undo without putting in stupidly long hours. Given my heavily loaded days, where I still need hold down a ‘real’ job to pay the bills, burning the midnight oil simply isn’t an option.
To add more fuel to an already raging fire, I additionally started a new job at a new company. Not only was it a challenge adapting to a new employer, but also adapting to a new culture at a massive multinational company the likes of which I’d never had prior experience of.
The pace of change in addition to end-of-year mental loading left my head in a spin. I needed to take a step back and let things settle, get my head around my new day job, and find time for writing.
Unfortunately, a holiday was not a realistic solution. With a packed and busy life, I couldn’t simply up and walk away from my intrinsic responsibilities. While a remote vacation would have been nice and would have put a pause on everything, the whole shit-show would still be there – waiting for my return. While I couldn’t leave it completely, I could leave it partially, and this was the logic behind taking a break from just one area of commitments, the area it would be possible to put on ice for a few weeks and not have the house of cards fall over. The Blog.
It was a conscious decision to pause most activities for a predetermined period. This would allow commitment and focus on the other more fundamental areas. Once the boat was steady and sailing true, the blog would receive the attention it deserved again. All variables considered, the aim was to be back by February.
Setting a time frame was critical, as not to do so could have potentially resulted in an indefinite hiatus. If you’re a Tim waiting for episode #137 to come out then you’ll know how painful a hiatus with no defined length of time can be. And I didn’t want this to be the outcome for me.
The weeks away from publishing was welcome respite. This was the reason why from December through until now there was no content put up. A few cosmetic changes here and there, along with a sneaky name change (from www.rb42.blog to www.rb42.tech). But these changes were all done on a Sunday afternoon with a mind that was at ease and time that was in abundance.
The timing felt right to have a break from writing and publishing and proved to be a great mental reset from everything that had been piling up. It provided an opportunity to focus on other areas that needed my urgent attention. While this break wasn’t a strict stop work period, as I continued with some other projects in the background, it was still invaluable. In doing so it also helped consolidate my thoughts, future content ideas, and the general direction for the website.
It got me thinking about how we are all hustling away, day after day, to a point where what is being done is no longer productive but instead burdensome. While it may seem like the perfect solution would be to simply stop everything and go away for a while, sometimes it’s not an option. In which case even to take time away from just one part of life can do the world of good. As it has for me.
What I’m suggesting here is that if you feel you’re getting snowed under, like I was towards the end of last year, then maybe it’s time to consider having a break, even a fractional break, collecting your thoughts, and getting back to basics. Once you feel ready to start over once again, then do it – pick up where you left off.
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