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What do you do when you’re starting to feel burnt out, your bank account is less than ideal, you’re waiting on a payment that’s being held in escrow, you need to move in two months, and as result, you can’t move certain aspects of your project forward?
This is exactly what I’ve been facing. And here’s what I’ve been discovering in limbo.
Clear Thinking & Problem Solving Go Out the Window with Burnout
You have a project, you know what the goal is, even your team knows what the goal is (having worked with you for months).
But some part of you feels responsible for things not moving. And then you feel like you should start inventing work, even if just to keep busy, or to find some ancillary activity that might end up contributing to the project.
The problem is you’re too exhausted to problem solve or come up with good ideas. So again, you return to self-blame.
But realistically, bad decisions are made when you’re tired, so adding to your workload at the wrong time might ultimately be a waste of time, energy, and resources. Only, you won’t realize this until later.
What I’ve recognized is that having a good team makes a big difference. They will help you stay on track when you feel like you’re losing sight of what matters.A good team makes a big difference. They will help you stay on track when you feel like you’re losing sight of what matters. Click To Tweet
Backup plans can also help. If you can prepare for those times you know you won’t be able to access clear thinking, you won’t have to, because you’ll have structures in place that inform your decisions.
People Don’t Know
There’s someone on the other end of every interaction and it’s altogether too easy to forget. You never know the kind of day that person has had, what’s happening in their life, or how things have changed, even in the last 24 hours.
As we continue to embrace and get entrenched in remote work, perhaps the biggest challenge of all is you don’t know what state anyone is in, and it’s too easy to bypass the conversation altogether.
“Since I can text or email them 24/7, shouldn’t they also be at my beck and call 24/7?” It gets weird headed fast.
I was talking with my landlord just yesterday, who asked me how work was going with a tone that said, “do you ever do anything?”
And the truth is 12-hour+ days have been quite the norm with my leadership program, businesses, musical projects, and freelance writing work. And it’s been that way for months now.
Given the world we now find ourselves in, being considerate in every conversation is a practice we’d all do well to adopt. Because you just never know how others are doing.Being considerate in every conversation is a practice we’d all do well to adopt. Click To Tweet
Cash Flow Makes Everything Possible
Some of the slowdown I’ve been experiencing is directly tied to the availability of resources. There would not have been any stalling out if cash flow wasn’t an issue.
And this is one of those classic cases I’ve talked about before.
Things are going well for me. I have enough work. And new opportunities are already starting to line up.
So, it’s not as though I don’t have a solid base income. I’d just hit a spell where too much money had gone out, and not enough money had come in. So, my hands were tied for about two weeks.
Money is not required to move every aspect of a project forward. Most of my team, in fact, are working without financial incentivization. But realistically, some things just aren’t going to get done without reinvesting in the project.
Cash flow makes everything possible. When you need to invest in a business app or some hired help, you’ll be able to spring for it. Importantly, if your needs are met, you’ll have more time and energy to dedicate to the project too.Cash flow makes everything possible. Click To Tweet
It’s fair to say that much of the above is already starting to work itself out.
I’ve been off caffeine for four or five days and I’ve been getting to bed earlier. I also haven’t been starting work until 10 AM and hold to a hard cutoff at 9 PM (though I sometimes end earlier). I’m feeling better, bit by bit.
The payment that I’ve been waiting on finally came through. And now I need to go and celebrate.
Best of all, I think, I’ve been able to glean a few lessons from limbo. And in the future, I will have this document to refer to, should I find myself in limbo again.
See what else I’m up to.