I Can’t Be Bothered

I had an awesome plan for today. I was all set to really get going on a couple of projects and had a list of things to do that I knew I could accomplish in the amount of time I had. I had energy, focus, and motivation to get it done.

And then it all evaporated.

The energy was gone, poof. The focus disappeared, poof. And the motivation melted away like so much snow in hot sunshine, poof. There I was, all planned and prepped and I couldn’t get started. Or more accurately, I wouldn’t get started. I just sat there. I didn’t jump on Twitter to waste away the time. Facebook didn’t beckon me. Even Instagram’s flashy photos couldn’t lure me away. I just sat there and kept thinking I Can’t Be Bothered to do anything.

That’s a phrase that I’ve subsumed from my best friend online. It’s a phrase that he once used that didn’t just resonate a bit with me. It shook me to my core. It was exactly the phrase that I had been looking for to describe those days when nothing is getting done, no matter my intentions.

Unfortunately, it happens enough that I’ve taken to abbreviating it in my journal ICBB. Looking back, my weeks are sprinkled with short runs of ICBB…a couple hours here, a few minutes there. But every once in a while I’ll have an entire ICBB day.

I know that part of it revolves around how hard I’m always running. Chasing a two year-old is exhausting, especially when you’re old. Keeping up with eight kids in several states and a couple countries saps energy. And keeping the wheels turning for a handful of small businesses is draining. But I look around, and other people do it. And they do it well.

marathon-1494648_640On the other hand, I feel like somebody who’s in a race running along at high speed…then BAM! I’m done. Not just running a little bit slower, but barely moving at all. While it’s frustrating that nothing is getting done, the tougher part is being so clearly aware that I’ve got a case of ICBB. I know, full-well, that I’m just sitting there. I can clearly see the mountain of things that need to be done. And yet I Can’t Be Bothered.

Over the past several months since I’ve given it a name, I’ve arrived at a better understanding when I have a bout of ICBB coming on. I’ve even managed to avert a couple of episodes. In a few cases I’ve been able to shorten the duration of other episodes. But I haven’t been able to entirely eradicate the feeling of ICBB from my life. I still get bitten by the bug…and I don’t get anything done on those days.

I’d love to tell you that I have a cure. A surefire method for handling this syndrome. A way to avoid the problem entirely. But I can’t. I’m still struggling with it. Not every day, but often enough that I believe it’s a problem. At the very least, it’s something that impacts my ability to get things done in the timeframe that I need to do them. Frankly, it’s a productivity killer.

The one thing that I can offer is that if you’re having the same feeling of I Can’t Be Bothered, you’re not alone. As I’ve talked to people about it, I’ve come to realize that it’s actually pretty common. For most folks it only lasts a short time, but there are a lot of us who lose whole days to ICBB. I don’t think it’s actually full-blown depression or anything that severe. Honestly, I’d liken it more to burn-out. As parents (or even as non-parental adults) we push ourselves to the limit. It’s what we see other people doing, and we know we’re just as good as they are. So we put the pedal to the floor and go along at full speed. Until we can’t. Then we just can’t be bothered and need to take some time to recharge our batteries.

So if you’re feeling like I Can’t Be Bothered…know that there are lots of other folks out there who feel the same!

What tricks do you use to break out of feeling I Can’t Be Bothered?


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