I woke up today and realized and I have been working very, very hard. While most of the time I enjoy working a full day and creating new things and making new things happen, I also realized that my tendency is to almost constantly be starting a new project, or developing a new marketing avenue, or moving ahead on a new idea.
Sometimes I just get tired. It can be this way in the dissertation process too, where you make very, very good progress, and you’re working consistently to the goal, and you’re marching to the finish line. Nothing is getting in your way, and nothing stopping you.
That is absolutely the best way to complete this project quickly. At the same time though, I would remind you that you may be juggling multiple responsibilities at the same time, as I was when I wrote my dissertation, and as I do now in juggling my business and my personal life and my friendships and all those different areas.
The thing that I’d like to offer today is that sometimes you just need a break. When you’re creating something new, or you’re working really hard and developing a project or developing an idea, it’s normal that there’s going to be a certain amount of chaos that happens around; at your house dishes may go undone, you may have a little bit less time to spend with your loved ones, you may find yourself in the zone where you don’t leave your office for hours and hours, or everything becomes consuming to the project that is sitting open on your desk.
When all this is happening around you, it’s equally important to build in a day of rest periodically. I’m not just talking about taking some time off or relaxing. I’m talking about really a day of rest. That day of rest means that you unhook mentally from your dissertation process. It also means that you engage in an activity that actually rejuvenates and recharges you.
The third thing it means is that it can’t be anything that you have to do or that you would normally do anyway. This leaves out things such as groceries, laundry, getting exercise, unless maybe you go to a new place or you try out a new kind of exercise. It’s this idea that you really need to unhook periodically in order to come back truly refreshed.
So in the spirit of taking my own good advice, here’s what I’m going to do this week. I’m going to give myself a day where I can take care of all these little errands that have been bugging me for weeks and weeks, and which somehow don’t get done.
Now that’s not my day of relaxation, but what that will allow me to do is first cross many items off my list. Second, it will allow me to improve certain elements or areas of my life that have been the focus of my attention. By taking action on those items, it will clear out some mental space for me. Fourth, it will give me a feeling of satisfaction, and fifth, it will pave the way for me to truly be able to relax on my day that I take completely off.
In scheduling my day off, this is how I’m going to do it. I’m going to let everybody around me know that I won’t be available for a 10 or 12 hour-period. I’m going to turn off my cell phone. I’m going to make sure that my machine is picking up all my messages, and that’s being taking care of. Then what I’m going to do is I am going to take myself to a completely new place. There’s a cute semi-mountain town not too far from where I live that I’ve never actually been to.
I’m going to take myself up there for the day on no agenda, except for just maybe aiming to arrive there by about 10:00 in the morning, and I’m just going to let the day unfold exactly how it does.
I’m not going to plan anything. I’m not going to check e-mail. I’m not going to worry about what’s getting done or what’s not getting done. I’m just going a take a day to completely be with myself away from everything that I normally do, so that I can keep a fresh perspective and that I can totally relax and recharge.