I’ve finally recognized a truth I’ve tried to avoid for damn near my whole life… I just can’t get anything done when I’m at my home.
I can barely motivate to fold my clothes and put things away, which are activities that categorically improve my mood. So anything that requires focused thought — any of my various programming or writing or design projects, that is — just won’t ever get done unless I get out of my house. I’d love it if I were otherwise, and I’ve spent tons of time fantasizing about making my home into a calm, productive oasis, but the slightly bitter truth is that it’s just not ever going to happen. Perhaps if I lived in a large house that could have a completely dedicated work space, or better yet if I had a small house, but with a big yard and a working shed that’s completely disconnected from the main house… I’ve seen some truly lovely examples of this. But it’s all moot then really, if I’m predicating my productivity dreams on the substantially less likely dream of having that kind of homestead, which I don’t truly want for various other reasons, and at the least won’t have for many years.
It’s actually quite liberating, because now I can stop fooling myself that I’ll go home, open my laptop and crack a beer, and get to work on some of those projects. I just won’t do it. I’ll putter and read the web and maybe even start something, but it won’t be long before I’m distracted by something else in that space. So now it becomes a stark choice between alternatives : stay in and do something entertaining (read, watch a movie or show, play a video game) or turn around and walk back out the door and go somewhere else to get something done. And I’m not presenting those choices as a good / bad dichotomy… just two ways to spend time, and both are important (as is the third, which is spending time with other people ;) but if I’m forced to think in those terms, I’ll be happier. I’ll stop ending up in that depressive cycle of feeling like I let myself down by weakness.
In the end, that bitter pill is actually kind of sweet. I wish I’d swallowed it years ago.