Accomplishing but not Feeling Accomplished…How do I disconnect?

Ever have one of those days where nothing you do seems to get you to that satisfying point where you feel like you’ve accomplished something?

I have had a string of days like that, and it’s starting to wear me out a little bit.  The funny thing about it is that I have accomplished a whole bunch of things.  My brain just won’t slow down.  Sure, pending items continue to be added to the list nearly as fast as I can clear old ones, but was there ever a time when that wasn’t the case?  I’ve never been one to be particularly satisfied with resting on my laurels.  Whatever laurels are.

Except when it comes to household chores…those I try to avoid as much as possible.  Fortunately for Becky (and me, I guess, too), I respect my wife greatly and have learned to get better about taking care of my household responsibilities.  I’m not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but ask Becky about my pre-marriage habits and you’ll see how much I’ve improved.

Anyway, tasks are starting to flow together, and I’m getting into that zone where I’m accomplishing more than I imagined I could. The rhythm is going.  E-mails are flying out in all directions.  I manage to clear both my work and personal e-mail accounts every single day, but right now, I’m in a zone.  I’m blazing through projects and as I blaze through the projects, I come up with new ideas, new projects, and I create new systems, new spreadsheets, etc.

But I don’t feel any satisfaction.  It’s like the more I accomplish, the less accomplished I feel.

So sometimes I need to escape.  I need to take a break and breathe.  And read. And sleep.  And curl up under a warm blanket next to Becky on the couch and watch a movie.

Unfortunately, today and tomorrow are not going to be that day.  Thursday could potentially be that day.  Hopefully Friday will bring with it some mindless entertainment.  Who knows?

How do you find peace?  How do you turn off your brain and just decompress?

Seriously, I want to know because I’m about to open a spreadsheet and work on a rotation schedule that really isn’t totally necessary. Does all this accomplishment really make a difference?  Does anyone care?  Probably.  Is it worth it?  I guess that is to be determined, measured in affirmation and personal satisfaction.


I will write something longer again soon.  I’ve been doing a lot of cool stuff with Revolution Annapolis and the music part of it, at the very least, is begging to be written about, especially my growing love for playing with Kenny Camacho and Andy Guzik and my renewed musical collaboration with Ms. Julia Owens, who shows up sometimes before jetting for Common Ground.  Also, Becky and I moved, which means social gatherings at the Murphy household will recommence very, very soon (look out for some Trivial Pursuit action, movie nights, “cocktail” parties, White Elephant parties, out-of-town guests etc.).  Also, Becky is pregnant and my coming child is probably worthy of a blog.  Also, Becky and I are soon turning 30, which necessitates some sort of rumination.  Also, I’ve been reading lots of books.  In other words, stay tuned!

7 thoughts on “Accomplishing but not Feeling Accomplished…How do I disconnect?

  1. Just checking in to say I read this regularly, I appreciate your hard work and, frankly, your busy-ness, and you’re doing great, at least as far as I can tell. Keep reading, working, playing, thinking, and writing!

  2. The quickest way for me to find peace and decompress is to take away all my technology. I hate doing it, but it almost always leads to me being forced to relax and read a magazine, play a boardgame, watch mindless TV, take a bath, cook an elaborate meal, do a sudoku puzzle or just lay in bed and listen to the radio. On sunnier days, I’m even inclined to take a walk.

    It should be noted that the only times that my technology is taken away is when my laptop is busted (i.e. now) or my phone is lost. But I’ve also decided to do one resolution per month instead of a single New Years resolution, and one upcoming month is going to be a month of remaining (mostly) unplugged. The resolution per month thing is also pretty awesome for personal satisfaction/accomplishment. This month I’m running a mile or exercising a half an hour per day. It feels awesome to come home having accomplished somethign I thought I’d never do each day.

    Why are you trying to accomplish so much? For yourself, for others, or for your reputation to others? That’s the other thing I ask myself when I’m busy with too many things at once. Often I find the things I’m trying to do I’m trying to do for the wrong reasons, or for reasons that aren’t top priorities.

    Sorry for the tome. Also, congratulations on your and Becky’s upcoming bundle of joy! 🙂

  3. I am checking in to say I read too. And DO THE ROTATION SCHEDULE. And I can’t wait for the recommencement of Murphy social gatherings.

    I think as far as finding peace and turning off the brain, etc… they are a little different. For turning off the brain, turning on WFLS works like a charm. And cooking at the same time. I also highly recommend choosing a day of the week during which you’re not going to answer the phone or check emails. That definitely helps me feel a real detachment from the hamster wheel. Do what you do while you’re doing it, and then when you’re not, don’t.

  4. I feel like I should add for clarification – I think the time of NOT checking emails/texts/Facebook/clicking through spreadsheets helps dignify the time when you are doing those things.

  5. I just wanted to say that as a result of reading this blog last week, I cleared out almost a hundred (count them!) unread emails in my personal email, and more than 30 in my work email. I have been unread-free at the end of every day since Monday.

  6. I have a personal goal of clearing and organizing/prioritizing my personal inbox and work inbox every day. I can’t imagine the stress at leaving with things hanging over my head. I don’t always accomplish the goal, but I usually do. I’m glad, Julia, that you’ve stayed on top of it. Once you’re on top of it, it’s a lot easier to stay on top.

    In the NHS days, everything was urgent. It was just how we did business. I hated it at first, but now I really appreciate it. The trick is turning it off when it needs to be turned off. I really appreciate all of your advice in that regards: truly, truly.

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