The Forgotten Key to Productivity by Rochelle Melander
November 24, 2015
Note From Rochelle
Our lucky stretch of weather ended on Friday night with a small snowstorm. So, no matter how much I’d love to delude myself about the weather in Wisconsin, I can’t. I live in snow country. I’ve dug out my boots and hat, and am trying to make my peace with it. (Read: She’s drinking lots of hot chocolate and reading books.)
Now, I need your help! I’m still collecting information from people who have written books to attract clients or boost business. If that’s you—or if you’d like it to be you—please take time before tonight at midnight to fill out the survey.
And as my thank you to you, everyone who fills out the survey can enter to win:
+A $50 Gift Certificate from Amazon (Yeah, books!)
+A $10 Starbucks Gift Certificate. (Mmmm. Coffee.) (And, I’m giving away 3 of these!)
Today’s tip talks about the one thing missing from most productivity plans. Read on to learn more!
Happy Writing and Happy Thanksgiving to our American readers,
Rochelle, the Write Now! Coach
By mid-afternoon on Monday (yesterday!), I’d been staring at my computer for two hours and still hadn’t finished writing this tip. I’m usually not that behind. But I had an editing project due Monday, so I worked all weekend meet my deadline. Early Monday morning, I dashed off an article for a blog. (Well, dashed might be stretching it. It was more like slowing cobbling together words.) Then I turned my attention to the tip. After writing a few words, I took a look at Facebook, sketched out a few sentences, checked on my two sick children, wondered if eating chocolate might help, and then wrote a bit more. But nothing seemed to gel. My usual productive pace had slowed to a crawl.
At first, I couldn’t figure it out. I used my usual productivity tricks, including exercise, scheduling time to write, and sketching out possible ideas for developing the article. And then it hit me. I was tired. I hadn’t taken a whole day off in more than a week. Because I spent Saturday afternoon visiting the just-renovated Milwaukee Art Museum, I forgot that I’d worked the rest of the weekend.
Writers, don’t forget this key element of productivity: rest.
Runners know that rest is key to peak performance. Stacy Sims, Ph.D., from the Stanford Prevention-Research Center, School of Medicine, has said, “Problem is, if you don’t take time for proper R&R, your body won’t adapt to the stress of your training—you won’t get stronger or faster.”
As writers, we need rest time, too. Sometimes when we think we are experiencing writer’s block, we are really tired. We need time to step back from the relentless pressure of producing finished work.
Time away from constant deadlines prevents us from producing work that is boring and predictable. Rest provides time to explore and nurture new ideas. Rest can also help us to approach our work in progress with new enthusiasm.
Next time you’re feeling blocked—take a look at your schedule. If you haven’t had a day off, then take one. And if you regularly spend your days off taking care of household tasks or volunteering, then plan a rest day. Engage in activities that help you recover from the relentless pressure of daily deadlines. Read, nap, see movies, play with children and pets, or walk outside. Do anything that will help you feel rejuvenated and ready to write again.
And with that…I’m off to … read books, eat chocolate, and bead.