One of the things everyone thinks of is trying to improve. Sure, many folks resolve never to take upon themselves those pesky New Year’s resolutions, while others have the intention of doing at least something to make their lives a bit more manageable.
As we begin the next 12 months, I’d like to offer a few suggestions that will likely not be too difficult to keep to, provided you actually want to change for the better.
If you’re a creative person – and if you’re reading this blog, then you’re likely to be – who’s in the middle of putting a book together, or building a platform for creating and expanding an audience, or thinking of ideas for a book, then you probably want to give yourself the opportunity to be your best.
In order to be your best creatively, intellectually, emotionally and physically, you need to give yourself time to recharge.
Sure, that sounds a bit much coming after the end-of-year holidays, when you’re raring to get back to work.
But work is better if you actually separate work from other aspects of your life, you’ll work better, feel better and think better.
1. Don’t recharge your phone in your bedroom. You’ll be tempted to check your email at all hours. Really, most (and probably all) emails can wait – and if it were an actual emergency you’d be receiving an actual call.
2. Don’t use your smart phone as an alarm clock. For the same reason as not charging your phone in the bedroom: you’re too close to your email, texting and such. Use an actual alarm clock. You won’t be tempted to scroll through messages as soon as you’re shaken into consciousness.
3. Set limits to your work day. If you’re a self-employed writer, or entrepreneur, you’re likely always to be “on.” Not a good idea: if you’re always on, you’re always burning energy. It’s like running in place: it seems as if you’re exercising, but you’re not really going anywhere.
4. Take time to do nothing. Even if you’re swamped with projects (and who isn’t?), you’ll be that much more productive if you take time to have lunch, read the newspaper, read a book, take a walk. Time spent away from crunching data, writing on deadline and poring over research is time that’s actually more beneficial to your productivity. It’s worked for Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos. It can surely work for you.
5. No phones at mealtime. Texting or glancing at emails when you’re in a social context is rude. Everyone is looking to connect, but often at the expense of actual human contact. Even if you’re dining alone, better to read a book than desperately search for messages. Respect your own time.
This is just the start, of course, but once you treat yourself with the care you deserve, your creativity will blossom further. You need to disconnect to reconnect.
Happy New Year!