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Low on bandwidth

Our post schedule got derailed over the past few weeks. It’s that time of year where side projects get thrown to the sidelines because of the holidays. Instead of sitting down to write for an hour; you’re seeing family, putting up Christmas decorations and ice skating at the local mall.

These are all contributing factors, but putting aside a slightly bruised coccyx, we got derailed for a lack of mental bandwidth.

This post is my attempt to get back on schedule.

Each day you’re given a certain amount of creative bandwidth. Once the allotment is depleted, you can either stop or push on, stealing from tomorrow’s supply.

Low on bandwidth - creative bandwidth vs the time of the day

Grinding on is sometimes the right choice, but it’s unsustainable. You can handle a day or two, but if you push too hard for too long you’ll burnout entirely. Recovery from the burnout then requires an undetermined amount of time to recharge and pay back your debt.

Recently, I’ve had a lot on my mind, draining my creativity before my first cup of coffee. What was on my mind? Packing and preparing for a move to Japan, preparing for a presentation at the Houston Tech meetup, Thanksgiving plans, and enjoying some last-minute travel while I’m in Texas.

I knew that with all of this happening, choosing to grind on would quickly lead to burnout. Most of the pressing issues would pass in a few weeks and then my mind would be clear to focus. After work I didn’t want to write, I just wanted to veg on the couch and watch YouTube.

After my talk I started sleeping better. Less weighing on my mind. Now with my house packed and on a boat to Japan my mental bandwidth bottleneck finally cleared. I felt like I could write again.

Sometimes we must push ourselves to in order to keep our schedules. Other times we must recognize when pushing does more harm than good and force ourselves to stop for the day or week.

When the bottleneck clears we’ll be able to eagerly pick back up where we left off. Refreshed and ready to go.

—jvd