The Project Train is Running Out of Steam

Hey everyone.

Know the song “Train Kept a-Rollin'” by Aerosmith? Yea, well, that song does NOT describe me right now. I’m starting to burn out on my project…which sounds like such a whiny complaint, but it’s true. Lately, I just can’t bring myself to care about working on it all of the time.

Last month, I did small portions of work every day. I was on a roll, and things were going very well. Of course, I was working on a part of the project that necessitated daily work (the poetry journal, for those familiar with what I’m doing), so it was easier to stay focused. Reading and doing research such a chore at that point either, because I was in the process of figuring out how I would use it. I was also so deep in the process of preparing for and taking grad school auditions that I was used to having my nose to the grindstone.

Now, I have a few things contributing to my lack of motivation:
1. I’m feeling senioritis. I never thought I would get it, but I did. It doesn’t help that I’ve gotten scholarship offers from a few grad schools and that I’m trying to figure out where to go next year.
2. I just want to practice all of the time. I am feeling really motivated for some auditions and stuff coming up, and I miss working on solo repertoire just for fun. I want that time back.
3. I miss reading for pleasure. I have so many freaking books on my shelves, and in my Kindle library, that I have not had time to read because I have been doing research all of the time.
4. The weather is getting nicer and I want to stay outside a bunch.
5. Summer is calling my name, especially since I’ve just committed to return to the Chautauqua Institution from late June through August. That orchestra is so much fun to play with.
6. I’ve met someone I really like, and spending time with her is fantastically fun.
7. The second season of Daredevil is out now and the first DLC package for Fallout 4 comes out on Tuesday. Crap.

Okay, I think that’s mostly it. Are they all ridiculous things to be complaining about? Yes. Am I just whining and being insufferable? Yes. Do I care about either of those things? No.

Anyway, if any of you have some motivational advice or are struggling with similar issues, let me know! I’ll take any and all advice.

Stay well!


3 thoughts to “The Project Train is Running Out of Steam”

  1. Hey Evan,

    I can definitely sympathize with this – having a long, incredibly dense project to do at this time of year never really comes all that easy. At some point or another I think most everyone is going to run into this problem (I know I have), especially as the semester’s end approaches. Nevertheless, I would stay rest assured that the work you’ve put in so far will carry you the rest of the way. By putting in a huge amount of work up front like you have, the end culmination of that will come much easier. What’s lost in all of this is that you’re in a really good spot right now, it’s just going to come down to organizing what you already have!


  2. Hey Evan,

    I completely understand where you are at. Between job hunting and trying to squeeze in every last second with all of my friends, I am having similar struggles.

    I would suggest a few things. Lately, I have been trying to use a reward system for myself. As dumb and juvenile as it sounds, it helps. I plan my work so that when I hit a certain mark, I get to do whatever it was I was wanting to do instead (practice, read, hang with people). #treatyourself. Setting little mini goals like that can help because even though they are kind of baby steps to bigger deadlines, they still add up! Plus it makes me feel more acomplished than I may actually be. That helps just because when i feel behind, it often makes me never want to start to catch up.

    Also as the weather gets nice, try to do your work outside! My wifi in my house reaches my front yard and I have definitely utilized it. Also, sometimes I enjoy going to the Arb to write, either in word or on paper. It can really help clear your mind of distractions. Plus, doing homework in the Arb could make for a cute date!

    Best of luck to you!


  3. Hi Evan,

    If any, I think your list of things that contribute to your lack of motivation indicates that you will work through the lost of motivation! I’ve found that it’s helpful for me to switch tasks once I get bored or found myself daydreaming, spacing out, or procrastinating. I might get some words done for the project for 15 minutes and then plan on graduation logistics for 20 minutes and then read for 15 minutes. This helps when I’ve found myself feeling bored or not interested in the works I have. However, I can totally see it if it is deviating from sone to keep their attention focused on one task. This may sound counterintuitive but my mind jumps all over a lot so it works for me!

    And…Congrats on your grad school scholarships!


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