One of the challenges of being a full time blogger and writer is finding opportunities to actually turn off. Since I am constantly thinking of things to actually write about I naturally have my blog(s) swirling around my head throughout the day.
But it’s categorically unhealthy to be always thinking about anything that much, not just blogs, and the truth is that not everything is worth the time to write about or even discuss. In fact, some of the more sweet elements of life are best left unsaid and unwritten.
So what I have to do is explicitly and intentionally turn off because everything within me wants to work! Here are a few ways in which I have been able to do this:
First, I dedicated time to engage in other things that I really value. Some of these times are spent reading the scriptures, prayer, and time with my loved ones and family. For you it might be something else. But the point here is that I explicitly set aside the time in my schedule for these things.
What fascinates me at times is the fact that I even need to do this! You would think that the things that I ultimately value in life would just flow out naturally for me and I would naturally dedicate the time but it doesn’t appear to work that way.
I’m overflowing with good intentions but without a little bit of intentionality on my part (and some good accountability) I would never get to them. The pull is far too great from the things that a great to the things that are just plain good. Let’s go for great all the time!
Second, I have a very systematic approach to my scheduling and I establish boundaries for when I am writing and when I do the other things in my life. For example, I work normal business hours and then shut it down after I’m done. Sure, I might be thinking about elements of my business and blogging during the off hours but at least I’m not able to execute on them! This is being constantly worked on, by the way, and I am constantly training (and re-training) my mind and body to focus on being present.
This is a very healthy practice for me and keeps the distance so I can maintain a more healthy balance of life. In fact, one of the by products of this is that I’m even more intentional with my time when I am “on the clock” and actually working. You’ve probably seen this work in your own life too, right?
Lastly, I purposely pursue hobbies and interests that are outside my field of work. For example, I have historically worked out and exercised at least three times a week. My new goal is to work out every single day (at 5:30am) and I’ve been able to get to 4 out of the 5 (it’s tough!).
Doing this provides some perspective and an opportunity to process through the elements of my work and life in a different setting and context, which has invariably led to better ideas and a more balanced approach.
So what is it that you do to provide distance between you and your work? How can you more intentionally turn off so that you can be more optimal in your work and enjoy life more?