Blogger: Rachel Kent
Location: Books & Such main office, Santa Rosa, Calif.
This is the perfect post for a Friday.
If you are a procrastinator and you have been slogging through your work all week and now you’re planning to try to accomplish something more over the weekend, I’m telling you to TAKE A BREAK. Your break doesn’t necessarily need to be on Saturday or Sunday, but if you don’t allow your mind to rest at least one day per week, your procrastination is likely to worsen. Spend that day with your family away from your writing space. Go to the movies, the beach or the park. Do something that you really enjoy so you look forward to it during the week and then can reflect on the happy memories while working the next week.
If your book is due in a couple of weeks and you just have to push through and work every day for those two weeks, go for it, but be sure to take a day or two off once you’ve finished your manuscript. Remember, even God rested after creating the world. 🙂
Do you reward yourself by taking a day or two off each week? What’s your favorite thing to do on those days off? And why do you think it’s a good idea, even for procrastinators, to take time off?
Congrats Rachel by showing us by example to avoid procrastination by following on your plan. You promised us on Monday a daily blog, and you didn’t procrastinate .. and you delivered! Best wishes and looking forward for your next blogs sometimes in the near future.
And yes, I do take a day or two off every week, doing not much. Just going here and there in my area.
I take off at least two days a week. My children are still small and I don’t want to miss their growing-up years because I was in front of my laptop! 🙂
Time away from my stories also allows me to fully experience the world around me. How can I expect to write believable characters when I’m not out in the world, experiencing it?
Thanks for these posts this week, Rachel!
I think the trick is to consciously take time off. All too often my time off is stolen from myself. It’s like knowing there’s a piece of chocolate cake at home that I’m going to enjoy later on. Thinking about the cake keeps me from eating that cookie, or bit of candy in the meantime. If I know I’m going to take Sunday off from writing, I’m less likely to steal time on Tuesday or Friday.
Great advice Rachel. Our brains do need a break every
once in a while to “recharge.” This weekend will be busy
for me. My oldest is turning four, and she is having her
first “friend” party. I have everything I need. It just comes
down to cleaning and baking and cleaning… . 🙂
I definitely take at least some time off. It might not be a whole day, but the majority of Sunday is for church and family, so I try to stay away from the laptop until after the girls are in bed; especially now that summer is winding down and our schedules will be changing soon.
I take a break from reading/reviewing books too. I find taking that break allows me to refresh my mind and spirit a bit. A quick walk helps too. If I work too many days in a row, I find I’m not as productive as I would like to be
Thanks for a week of great posts, Rachel.
I try to not write at all on Sunday — no projects, no blogging, no emailing, no proofing, nothing. (However, if inspiration or insight strikes, I will make a note of it.)
By not writing at all for 24 hours (actually, it is more like 36 hours), I am much more ready to write come Monday morning.
(I take other breaks as well. I take a break from exercising on Saturday and I take a break from eating on Thursday — as a side benefit, fasting generally heightens my writing efficacy.)
I have a driven personality and since I run a business from my home office, I can be the very definition of a workaholic. There is always work to do. I am always behind on something. A number of years ago I determined no computer, no work in the office on Sunday. The first week, I couldn’t do it! I snuck in (as if I could hide it from myself?) and told myself I was just getting ready for work on Monday.
Then one day I overheard my daughter talking to a friend. She said, “I recognize Mom best by the back of her head.”
That did it. No work on Sunday–not even Sunday night after church. Once a month, three days in a row off. Twice a year, a minimum of an entire week.
Perhaps that’s why, even as a procrastinator, I’ve been in business for almost 20 years and still love what I do.
From supper on Saturday to evening on Sunday is my day of rest. Cleaning, laundry, shopping and other chores that aren’t done by Saturday night can wait 24 hours. The key for me is the difference between work and leisure. Quilting is fun; mending is not. Writing a letter to a friend is a pleasure; editing a chapter is not.