That is one weird title, isn’t it? Saying “Be Bold, Take Some Leisurely Time” is basically saying that taking time away from work is an important part of your craft. This post is written in
Welcome to Another Edition of Unprocessed Thoughts
The year is 2019. We are at the end of a decade. For my writing career, this is the most exciting year to date. Over the past year, I’ve sold several short stories and am having my first novel release not published by me (The White Hand). To make all of this exciting stuff happen requires a lot of discipline and routine. That is the key that made it happen for me. The past year could be summed up by saying: being a working horse and sticking to a ridged routine, then you get some positive results. The process doesn’t sound very exciting does it? There is truth to that, and it can become a double edged sword.
When one is busy all the time, if you’re not careful, you can burn out fast and hard. Then the recovery time is a long and frustrating process (because you become burnt out mentally and physically). This is why it is important to learn how to take breaks. Find other interests other than being totally wrapped up in work all the time.
Sometimes you will be required to put in 110%. You’ll be living and breathing a new manuscript or project. That’s fine, we’ve all been there. It is when you are at an end point or at a milestone within the project, you must remember to reward yourself.
Reward Yourself With Leisurely Time
Personally for me I have a number of hobbies that I know are simply hobbies. They aren’t going to be anything fantastical or something I strive for with all ambition – like I do with writing – they are simply activities I do for me. Just as your activities should be only for you. These activities are important to allow yourself to relax and explore. It’s like when you first learned you were into writing, you didn’t know a lot about it, but you are drawn to it. That’s what your hobbies should be for, letting your mind be curious.
Your leisurely time could be as simple as catching up on a TV series that you enjoy or play a video game or pick up a musical instrument. It doesn’t matter, as long as you are intentionally not working.
Be Bold and Step Away
One thing for self-driven people is that they do forget to stop. It can be tough to let go and step away from the work. This takes courage since you are so tightly attached to it. When you finally do let go of the work, you realize it isn’t that bad. You’d be amazed to find out that most things can wait a day.
Reward yourself with time off and make sure you follow through with it. If you are known to constantly check your emails, maybe set your email to only send notifications during workday hours. Or if you’re bold, uninstall your email app all together. Keep email just on your computer. It can make a world of difference to your well being.
Taking Too Much Time
Now, lets say you mustered up the courage to take time off and you are enjoying yourself too much. Sometimes it can be a challenge to get back into the swing of working. This is where the work/life balance behaves like a tug-o-war session. You’re constantly trying to maintain a good balance of the two so you don’t work too hard and burn out or you take too much time off and never get anything done. Listen to your body and mind. More often than not they are telling the truth. If you’re tired you’d best rest. Don’t let it fool you though, sometimes it thinks you needs to sleep more than you really do.
Leisurely Time Is Part of the Process
Something not enough people talk about is how important time off is. A lot of motivational speakers, entrepreneurs, life coaches, etc, all talk about methods of working and how to maximize your abilities. They rarely – if at all – talk about how necessary the stage of doing nothing is. Especially for anyone within the creative realm of thinking. Taking time to let your mind wander or play with a hobby will allow your brain to work in new ways. You’ll gain new perspectives on the old and experience the world in a new light. Then, when you sit down again to work on that draft – or project – you will be recharged when visiting a place of familiarity.
In short, be bold and take some leisurely time to help your craft.
Beer Note: Stolen Canoe Pale Ale, Township 24 Brewery
This month I had Township 24 Brewery’s Stolen Canoe Pale Ale. A pale ale that has 5.6% alcohol level. It is a light and refreshing taste with a slight bitterness. If you enjoy pale ale beers, this is one that is easy to sip on without the taste getting old.