Rick Green – Founder of TotallyADDParticipant
Way back around 1992, I was writing and acting in The Red Green Show… and directing the show… That was 22 episodes back when stations committed to a real ‘season’. If you watch a TV show now, you’ll see many writers. Back then it was just two of us. Steve Smith, who played Red Green, and me, playing Bill. (And my first chance to work with Patrick McKenna who played Harold.)
And at the same time I was writing and hosting a series called Prisoners of Gravity, which was kind of like Entertainment Tonight for S.F, Fantasy, horror and comic books. And that season we got a bit of funding and cranked out 30 episodes.
That was the year I took off Christmas Day and half of Boxing Day. At the time I was on a treadmill, albeit a very fun one.
But not long after, when I was able to come up for some air, I realized that by not taking any breaks, by sitting at the computer trying to write even though I was burned out, was hugely wasteful. If I’d taken days off, forced myself to recharge and relax and get some input instead of constant output, I would have been much faster. Instead I kept going, wondering why it was taking me 4 hours to write something that normally took 1 hour or less.
The energy was great. The creativity fed on itself. But at some point, a tipping point, it was counter productive.seabassdMember
Holy kudzu, I remember The Red Green Show. In the states I believe it was broadcast through the local PBS station. Nice!
Workaholic burnout gives me the heebie-jeebies. It’s a part of a recurring pattern with me. There’s two ways it will go…#1) Work until I’m burned out and frazzled and then quit, or option #2) Have an emotional flip out that forces bosses, coworkers, or family members to back off with the work load/requests. There may be a spot of relief following this but it only last for a little while and starts back up again.
I still haven’t figured out how people do work and play and social on a day to day basis. I’ve got enough energy for one of those things but not all of them.
As an artist the I experience the hyper focus as a trance and loss of time. I can work for hours at a time only stopping when I realise that I can’t see any more because the sun went down an hour ago. I have inattentive type so there are times that I don’t even hear when people are talking to me. I don’t suffer from a drop in productivity but I will start to hurt myself more than normal . For me the downside is that I have trouble relating with other humans after working 16 hours straight. Its almost like I forget how to communicate or even comprehend what is going on around me. I am more like a bear than a person at that stage its best not to approach me and let me go hibernate. I think this is a result of dopamine levels being completely depleted. There have been times that I don’t remember stopping, someone had to come in and take me away. I just wake up the next day with vague recollections of being put in pajamas and put to bed. luckily I don’t have this problem as much when I am on meds.blackdogMember
I don’t think I have ever experienced that kind of extreme. But maybe that’s because I never had the peace, quiet and solitude required for it. I gave up even trying to do any art or writing a long time ago because I never have enough time without interruption to really get focused. Also because I have had depression since I was young which saps all my energy and motivation.
But I remember my first job when I was in high school they had to force me to take a break. And I couldn’t understand why. Wasn’t it a good thing that I wanted to work more?
I had a job just before I went to college where I worked 12 hours a day, on my feet. My break most days was grabbing a smoothy and going to the arcade for half an hour.
I also used to work 14 days straight and double shifts and not think anything of it. I would pick up extra shifts whenever anyone called in sick.
But those days are over now. My body can’t take it anymore.jojosephineMember
That is the toughest thing about my industry, Multimedia Design (graphic design, animation, video etc) and of course, the people who are demanding it (and not creating it always gives an unreasonable deadline). Non-creative people don’t understand that that you just can’t pull a great design idea out of thin air at any given moment. That is way I quit my job and had to go freelance. I hated going into work and sitting there for days not being able to create. I forced designs that took hours and the final result was less favorable (in my mind). It really bothered me that I was forced to sit at a desk, when I could have been doing something else more productive in my life. I ended up coming up with ideas on evenings and weekends (that I wasn’t being paid for).
The bottom line is: My best creative work comes quickly but at any given time. After a while, I just sit and stare at the computer screen and zone right out and my productivity goes right down the drain.
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