Stress and Getting Stuff Done

Dealing with stress–or whenever possible, reducing it–is a big part of my life as someone with Adrenal Fatigue. It’s one of the main causes–when our adrenal glands become too overworked due to stress, they stop functioning optimally, leaving us tired all the time for no reason. Even people who don’t have Adrenal Fatigue will often find themselves tired after a day of putting out more fires than usual.

Even Isis gets stressed out, though no one knows why!

Even Isis gets stressed out, though no one knows why!

Stress, and the fatigue it can bring on, is often a reason we don’t accomplish as much as we’d like. But these past couple of weeks, I’ve found the opposite to be true as well: not being able to get things done can make us stressed.

This became apparent to me in my day job recently. Normally, I like my job, but lately it’s become a real drag to the point that I almost dreaded going to the office. It’s not the workplace–I’m blessed to work with and for nice people, in a comfortable environment. But for weeks, I was stuck on both of the software development projects I’m working on. On one, I was stumped by a particularly tough bug fix. On the other, I was having problems with the software I needed to use not working properly. Then, last week I had a breakthrough on the bug fix. It’s still not done, but I’ve been making progress, whereas before, I was getting nowhere. And then I was finally able to get some tech support from the product vendor of the problematic software. With help, I got that working and have been moving along on that project.

Since then, my fatigue has been better (for the most part–I still have tired days, and am not as energetic as I was before A.F.). I realized it was because I was no longer stressed about my job. And that stress hadn’t come from worry that my inability to get anything done would have consequences–my supervisors on both projects were well aware of my problems and understood–but it was the simple fact that I was stuck and not moving forward.

We humans feel much better when we get stuff done, and have that sense of accomplishment. So having something on my to-do list that I know I’ll be able to check off is now an important part of my stress reduction plan.

Of course I always find time to read! That’s a big stress reducer too.

smithsmonthly 11What I read this week: Smith’s Monthly #11, including the novel The High Edge by Dean Wesley Smith. I am now a year behind in these LOL. He writes them faster than I read! Well, he does because I read other things, too. As always, this one had some enjoyable short stories in it, plus a novel set in his Seeder’s Universe, which features a post-apocalyptic earth and the spacefaring humans who are trying to save and help what’s left of Earth’s population. Enjoyable, easy read and good for that stress reduction!

ROW80Logo175ROW80 Update: Things are moving slowly on the novella, and I finally figured out why: I over-outlined it. As an outliner, having a plan in place to give me a story map helps me keep on task and moving forward. I tried a process outlined in Monica Leonelle’s Write Better, Faster (an excellent book, with tons of helpful info) that includes sketching in the scenes before I write, but that turned out to be too much for me. I either have to toss what I sketched out, or fill in the details, transitions, descriptions, etc. and that’s making it not as much fun. Hence, more difficult to get to the computer and more slow going once I’m there. I will push through and finish this, but will stick with my simple, one or two sentence outline per scene for the next book. This week, I only got one scene drafted. Next week, I want to shoot for at least three, preferably more.

What about you–do you find it stressful when you can’t seem to get anything done? How did you overcome that? Have you read any good books lately? And whether or not you’re participating in ROW80, how are you doing on whatever goals you might have? Please share in the comments–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

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