I always struggle with trying to reconnect with my productive habits, especially when I start to feel discouraged about my writing capabilities. Sometimes, work doesn’t go as planned, the piece I spent hours crafting didn’t turn out the way I wanted, or I couldn’t manage to focus long enough to get things done.
I had an unfortunate chain of unproductive behavior this week. I tried to get a handle on my growing list of things to do, but I ended up feeling too overwhelmed to start and losing my momentum as a result.
I fluctuate between overworking myself and feeling creatively drained, so that is why I’ve begun to take my reset days so seriously. It’s something I’ve touched on before, but I wanted to outline what worked for me this time around.
Acknowledging and understanding the term “creatively drained.”
I didn’t conceptualize that I was keeping myself from branching out, because I couldn’t fathom that I would do something like that, working every day as a content writer.
I eat, sleep, and breathe cultivating new ideas, but that didn’t stop me from falling off the wagon ever so often, wondering if I was ever going to get back to maintaining those productive habits.
I was mainly creatively drained because of how discouraged I felt, how worried I was that everything I was working towards might disappear at any second, but I had to put an end to those feelings. On days where I feel exceptionally terrible, I now allow myself time to recuperate instead of forcing the words out that I’ll probably have to change later.
How to deal with biting off more than you can chew
Do not do this. It is so important to know your limits as a creative no matter what field you specialize in. This is because your work relies on a clear mind that’s able to produce great work, and you can’t do that if you’re juggling fifteen different things all at the same time. I’m a firm believer that the more time you spend learning and adapting to new changes, the more likely you’re going to be able to take on more work as you go.
However, if you’re just starting, it’s important to take things slow and focus on what you’re writing. If you want the world to engage with your pieces, then you have to put in a little extra effort to make them exceptional instead of merely taking on one too many projects.
Why overworking isn’t the answer to a successful writing career
I find that when I’m overworking myself, I don’t even take the time to appreciate what I’ve accomplished at the end of the day. It becomes a never-ending cycle of planning for the next few hours instead of winding down and taking care of my mental health. If you don’t take into consideration the time you need to revitalize your creative streams, then you’re probably going to burn out faster than you’d like.
Do not overwork yourself. Instead, divide up your time wisely, and make the most out of every given day.
Here are a few methods to adopt when you need a reset:
- Brain dump all of the thoughts clouding your mind
- Read a book that challenges you to think critically
- Work towards completing tasks instead of scrambling between multiple at a time
- Participate in activities that uplift your creative spirit (taking workshops, listening to podcasts, joining writing groups)
- Set strict“wind-down” times and do not work past them
- Allow yourself a moment to breathe.
Go on, take a reset day if you need it
Get yourself in the right mindset to return to work first thing tomorrow with a clear goal and a motivated, enthusiastic mind. Sometimes, we have to take a step back and analyze how we’re really doing when we spend every waking hour caught up with work. You deserve to rest, take care of your mental health, and love the work you do.
I hope these tips help you to have the reset day you’re looking for and go on to write another day.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post! Let’s stay in touch.
Anisa Nasir is a freelance writer and aspiring novelist. She lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband and family. She’s the writer behind As She Writes.