How to beat post-project blues?
May 9, 2007 9:32 AM   Subscribe

What do you do to shake the "Post Project" blues?

I just finished my 2nd semester 2nd year law exams. I'm having trouble 'downshifting' from exam level stress to normal life. Like many folks, I get this way after a big "project" ends. I'm generally bummed out and putting a negative spin on life.

So, what do you do to shake the post-project blues?
posted by BeerGrin to Human Relations (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Throw yourself into a new project with a completely different focus. If you play an instrument, for example, set a goal for yourself (I will learn every guitar solo on album X, for example), then pursue that.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:37 AM on May 9, 2007

For me travelling helps. It gives me a new perspective on things, and keeps me occupied until the tension disappears on its own. Doesn't have to be far.
posted by Harald74 at 9:38 AM on May 9, 2007

Best answer: It's beautiful outside. Go smell the roses.
posted by caddis at 9:45 AM on May 9, 2007

This happens to me a lot. With personal projects, I've found that managing the level of energy going in helps me avoid an enthusiasm crash when the project (or just a big milestone of the project) wraps up.

Shifting focus, like Greg Nog mentions, can help with the shaking—finding an outlet for your energy and enthusiasm, either to keep it up or just to let it wind down more gently on a secondary project, might help.

And definitely with the roses. Look around and purposefully reacquaint yourself with some of the things that get neglected when you're on a high cycle.
posted by cortex at 10:04 AM on May 9, 2007

Something that I learned in software development: at the end of every big project, do a post-mortem and archive. The post compares the goals of the project with the results and evaluates the development process looking for areas of innovation which should be incorporated into the next production cycle as well as areas in need of improvement.

For your situation, you could spend some time thinking through your study habits, personal fitness, preparedness or any other factors which might affect your exam outcome, and write out a goal for your next year's exams along with a plan to meet your goals.

The archive means documenting and ordering the data associated with the finished project in a manner that will make it easy to retrieve later on, should you need it as a reference.

Right now, your head is chock-full of a bunch of details, the best way to get them out is to write them down, print it out and file it away. Let your filing cabinet (or your backed-up hard drive) be your storage, leaving your mind free for new things.

Spend a half day or so doing the above and enjoy the blissful feel of closure.
posted by jamaro at 10:15 AM on May 9, 2007

After finals every semester I spend a couple days doing completely mindless, entertaining things--typically watching my favorite funny movies (Animal House, Old School, Anchorman, Zoolander, etc.) and playing mindless video games (Grand Theft Auto, Halo, Madden, etc.). No movies that have convoluted plots or games that involve a lot of thinking. This is the only time of the year I allow myself these indulgences, and after a few days of this I get really sick of it and fall back to my normal, non-finals routine. I also find that engaging in athletic activities that have gone neglected for the last month or so helps as well.
posted by jtfowl0 at 11:29 AM on May 9, 2007

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