The kids are back and settled back into their usual summer routine. I, on the other hand, am in a productivity slump. I'm meeting my deadlines and goals for my client work, but am struggling to motivate myself to do the other work I have planned. I'm not sure what is going on: none of the work is unpleasant, and I'm not over-clocked. Maybe it is just an end of summer slump?
Regardless, I've been using my "stay somewhat productive through a slump" tricks: breaking goals down into smaller tasks on my daily to do list (yesterday's list actually had specific emails I needed to send, not just the usual "catch up on email" item), setting myself short term goals and giving myself small rewards when I hit them (sort of a modified pomodoro method), and trying to pick tasks most appropriate for my mood. One of my goals for the week is to pick the stories for my next taster flight. It is going to be released in October, and has a spooky theme—ghost stories with kids in them. I have five stories picked, but a couple of them are quite short, so I'd like to find at least one more. Last night my time log told me I needed to do some more work, but the other items on the list didn't appeal. So I downloaded an old book from Project Gutenberg and started reading stories. I didn't find any that will work, but it was a nice way to spend the evening. And it lead me to read this wikipedia biography of Lafcadio Hearn, who had an interesting life, to say the least.
So, my productivity tricks are working, to an extent, but it still feels like a struggle. I don't like it when work feels like a struggle.
I'm taking tomorrow off for a long-promised end of summer play day with my kids. They go back to school on Monday. Maybe a day off to play will help!