It all started with the onslaught of Zoom meetings. I called it the Zoom Apocalypse. Zoom meetings were busting out all over my inbox. It got to the point where I couldn’t keep them straight. I was worried I’d miss a meeting; not sure which one was in what group? What time? They began to run over each other.
I finally took control, well, sort of. I created a calendar to keep track of each specific organization and how they set up their meetings. Everyone has their own system.
I also learned what to wear, how to put on my make-up and also how to set up the lighting in my office. There are many YouTube videos to teach you all these tricks to look your best on camera. Usually I’ll use a virtual background to hide the clutter behind me. It’s kind of fun as I use a photo from one of our safaris’ in Africa. It always encourages a conversation about the lion cubs behind me.
I thought I had gained control what with my new organizing methods. I was determined to set a schedule that I would keep to and reduce my anxiety.
Day one: It fell apart. I decided to run that morning and it threw my day into disarray. I had difficulty keeping my meetings straight and forgot emails I had sent out. A friend asked me if I was OK as a note I sent to her didn’t make sense.
I was determined to try again.
Day two: I didn’t run, but instead did my YouTube video exercises. When I sat down at my computer, I let myself get lost in email, a deadly thing to do. I always fall into a black hole. I really need to get control over my inbox, but I have failed to do so. It is also an excuse not to tackle the big stuff.
Day three-No run or exercise in the morning. I planned to have breakfast and be at my desk by 9 AM. I did succeed at that, but my brain was not engaged. I did not go into my email, as there was nothing I was looking for or expecting that needed my attention.
So, I opened up a new Word doc to write something. And stared at the curser. And stared at the curser. And continued to stare at the curser. Finally, I moved on to other projects. As a board member of the San Francisco Peninsula Branch of the California Writers Club, I always had tasks I needed to do. That would clear up my desk, so to speak.
Having those projects done, I was ready to get back to writing. I’d been more than a month since I contributed to my various writing projects. For now, I didn’t have any hard deadlines, but I always like to meet my self-imposed ones.
I finally gave into what I knew had been plaguing me: Pandemic Brain. Without hard and fast rules and deadlines out of the house, everything blurs into one long event… all day. Exercise runs into household chores, to taking care of my yard, my chickens and the errands. It all flows together and it’s difficult to separate what I need to do from what I want to do.
Pandemic Brain=inability to control tasks and complete projects.