If you’re holed up looking at your computer for six, eight, or ten(!) hours a day, you’re bound to come across some stumbling blocks from time to time. Who among us hasn’t experienced writer’s block? In fact, too much of beating your head against that immovable wall and you may be edging closer to the dreaded burnout!
So how do you combat those blocks that are bound to rear their ugly head and get in the way of your writing process? Well, one great way is to monitor yourself. If you’ve been writing for more than an hour, take a break. Get up, walk the dog, make a cup of tea, or call someone. Do something that doesn’t involve writing for a bit.
There are definitely here-and-now fixes to clear your brain and get you back on track, but also consider the long haul. If you find that you’re experiencing writer’s block more often than you can count, it might be time to really clear the cobwebs and reboot your system. A vacation seems like the obvious solution, but not everyone has the resources or free schedule to just drop everything and go. When you have to work, here are a few hints to keep the wheels turning productively.
Take One Day Off Each Week
If I’ve done it, I know you have too: we end up working so consistently that we find ourselves asking, “Weekend? What weekend?” Deadlines, demanding customers, and paperwork can keep us in the office way too long to be healthy. Do yourself a favor and take off one full day each week. Whether you just veg in front of the TV or do something fun with family or friends, do something other than work (or thinking about work!).
Spend Three Hours Each Week with Your Partner
If the label “workaholic” seems like a good description for you, chances are you’re not the only one who’s affected. Look to your significant other and check in. He or she will likely concur that some down time as a couple would be a great bonus. And this time together has two benefits: it improves your relationship while clearing your mind! And if you’re single, use those three hours to hang out with a good friend or try to meet Mr. or Ms. Right!
Spend Three Hours Each Week with Children
Just as your marriage/relationship can suffer when you’re experiencing work burnout, your relationship with your children can take a big hit. Plan a three-hour block of time to do something special with the younger members of your household. Go for a hike, visit the park, or do anything that would be considered playing. As adults, we often forget to take time to play, but your kids will get you back in line! If you don’t have any kids of your own, borrow some. I’m sure most parents would be more than willing to give up theirs for three hours a week! You’ll be the most popular person in your neighborhood!