I’ve heard a lot of people say that when you’re feeling unproductive and down in a slump, all you need to do is finish something, however small, and you’ll feel better. Even if it’s making your bed or emptying your Inbox.
I had that nagging feeling all day. When your job requires you to answer customer service emails that pile up in the hundreds, it’s hard to ever get to that lovely zero. But I did it, several times. Yet the feeling persisted, gnawing away at my gut.
Finally, I had to take a break from the endless emails to schedule tomorrow’s Social Media posts–an image with an inspirational quote. I had been pushing it off because it’s hard to find the perfect quote and a picture to match it perfectly. I had to play around with a bunch of free stock photos and text placements before I got anything to look decent. But when I finally finished and scheduled the post for tomorrow, I suddenly felt the flood of relief I had been waiting for.
At least for me, it’s not the act of completing a task that soothes the ache. It’s the act of creating. When I’m answering emails, I stay in response mode. I’m like a tennis ball being hit around from task to task with no control over my trajectory. But even when I’m doing something as simple as designing a quote for Instagram, it puts me back in the driver’s seat and lets me return to myself so I can express what’s in there.
These feelings are pretty new to me. I think that since I’ve started writing, my insides have seen the light and they don’t want to be shut up again in darkness. They’ve tasted the freedom that comes through self-expression, and now they refuse to be caged. When they are, they will torture me until I open the door.
This is why I need to write in the morning, every morning. I need to finish something and post it, no matter how bad it is. Better than coffee for starting my day.