For about three weeks last month, I couldn’t work it out… I didn’t want to touch my cars, my garage, anything. Usually, I am in the garage every day after work, bulk hours lots of different things being worked on, but it just stopped. It’s happened before but with a little more reason to it, things like fatigue, life’s many twists and turns and in general just needing a break every now and then. This was different, it actually sort of scared me, I was having some seriously savage thoughts about just getting rid of it all, buying a car or cars that are newer, easier, simpler… quite the state of mind.
You might be reading this thinking, What sort of article or post is this in comparison to fitting shockers in a car, or automating a light, reviewing a product etc, but this is a post I hope may help other people that find themselves looking at what appears to be a wall that is simply not breakable, stopping the tap from running and the spanners from turning, or what ever else you like to do in your spare time.
Identifying what the issue is can be a real bastard, it’s tough, reading some other blokes quest to find some motivation thinking “That’s good for you pal, but that solution you found doesn’t apply to my situation”. I’m not going to give any advice on the issue itself because it is literally different for everyone, it’s not possible and would merely be advice based on speculation and generalization. The route to the source can be a timely exercise, but I started by dropping what I was doing and looking at my garage and noticing that it was dirty, not horrible but just in need of a tidy up, as part of this I used this time to clean out what I had in there, parts and all to simplify the contents – This has a massive impact on shed zen. Clean your tools up, get rid of all of your excess crap and make some hard decisions, even better, sell off some of that excess gear, parts or what ever you are clearing and buy some new storage to really clean things up. To sumarise, I put everything I was doing on hold, put all of my tools away, cleared some parts and started again.
The next phase was to write down everything that bothered me, I didn’t know how overcome I was by all of the projects and tasks that were on my mind until I started to put them into a list so that I could find some order, tick one off at a time and select the most important things first, to get the sun shining in my little cave again. Pen and paper is great but so is using a smartphone or computer for jotting down these things, I personally use Zoho Notebook and share it amongst all of my devices.
Curving social media use was a massive factor in regaining what I’ll refer to as “control”. I found myself just flicking through instagram or flogbook, looking at other peoples cars and not feeling much better for my humble little existence. As I said before, this isn’t going to apply to everyone, I know plenty of people that love to grab inspiration from other dudes stuff, but that’s not for me, so I froze it. It showed me how much time I was spending distracted and only half committed to things.
Giving yourself a break is really important too. If you need to stop, stop. Forcing it won’t net you the results you are looking for, A good way to do this is to listen to an Album or a podcast episode and use that as the limit for your time on something, I do this alot and use podcasts most of the time.
Some extra family time is always nice to get back to a good state of mind!
Best True Crime Podcasts 2019 – I’m a true crime buff personally!
Learn something new, Getting into something fresh can really help to make the mind come back when you are in a bit of a spot, I wouldn’t suggest trying to learn another language (
unless that’s your thing! )
I ended up purchasing a couple of online courses relative to my interests and starting the first module, I had an introduction to welding from a mate that has really inspired me to practice and practice so that I can start building myself new things and caught up with an old friend and chatted about it all and that really helped me to get back on the horse too.
My courses came from HP Academy
There is also the chance that this could happen again, so, like a car it’s better to prevent it from reaching the peak that it did the first time around. If you can recognise things starting to go into a place you don’t want them to, stop, identify it and find a way out. For me, it was keeping the garage tidy throughout the course of the project I started slowly and eased back into life in the shed. After each session I would out my tools away, clean the garage up and turn the lights off knowing I was walking back into that lovely neat zen that is a clean work area. Its also worth mentioning that my partner is really supportive and was a huge help in getting me back on top, suggesting to me that starting slowly and moving from there was the way to go, so thanks!
In summary, I seriously burnt out… I thought there wasn’t a way out unless I sold everything and gave into what seemed like an irreparable problem, but instead I persisted and identified the issue and moved away from it with a real knowledge of what to do the next time it begins.
If you need to speak to someone, or want help with a problem, cleaning your garage or even just want to chat cars or anything else, flick me an e-mail – Everyone deserves to have somebody to drive them and help them achieve their goals.
If this helped you, I’d love to hear about it, show me your projects and your workspace – It gives me inspiration and ideas seeing other people building things,
Keep on Punchin’!