Cycles

Something I’ve noticed about myself (and I am sure it is true of others) is that my enthusiasm for ongoing projects goes in cycles.

Obviously, with something like blogging which is not strictly work and not strictly play, outside time pressure comes to bear and when time gets short, it is these sorts of things that get squeezed out. But if the motivation is there, even when I am busy, I still seem to make the time to type that piece up. Conversely, when motivation is low and I just don’t feel like there is anything worth commenting on, it doesn’t really matter if there is a window in my schedule, I can easily fill it up with time-fillers. I type most of my blog articles over lunch-time and sometimes I would just rather sit and eat and digest quietly.

I think that is pretty normal and affects all the things we do, even the ones we enjoy. Especially the ones we enjoy, in fact, as it is the enthusiasm that waxes and wanes. I love working in the lab (even if it is sometimes frustrating to find black tar where you hoped to find white crystals) and there are days where I am pinging around doing all kinds of stuff, but there are definitely days when you just feel that the reaction could wait till tomorrow and it won’t be the end of the world if you don’t TLC all those collected fractions right this minute.

Obviously, a career in chemistry would be cut pretty short if you stopped work whenever you didn’t feel like it and so the key is to keep things moving along even if it is not with the highest efficiency. Set yourself a modest goal and keep at it. Before you know it, something will set you off, be it a deadline or a project result or just that it was nice out today and the pace will pick up again.

It is the same with the blog. July 16th seems late for it to be my first post of the month, but I will not sweat it too much. I’d rather write something I have some interest in than toil away on an empty piece just to make a self-imposed word count.

This has been perhaps a slightly long-winded way to say that my low cycle, my nadir, has passed and there will be more to come soon. Thanks for checking in.

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