By Ben Cameron, Dec 22 2017 03:09AM
By Laxmi Hariharan
As authors and entrepreneurs we spend so much time driving our own time and businesses that it is easy to overlook the crucial work-life balance. But there is never a better time to step back from your work than during the festive season.
For authors who are far along the growth curve it is tempting to still push on to hit the wordcount every day, to check the performance of your advertising, to continue to check email, and your KDP dashboard and… yeah, I feel it too!
However, after cycles of creative burn out, and a year when I have been plagued by RSI and other work-related injuries I now understand the value of downtime.
So, as the year draws to the end, these are my tips to survive the festive season and to find the space to recharge in a constructive way.
December is a great time to revisit the vision board of your life. It’s a pictorial representation of the life you want and a visually stimulating way to get down your blue sky thinking and a roadmap to where you want to go.
It helps put the past year in perspective, and gives you fresh thoughts that you can mull on during the actual down time days, over Christmas and New Year. I credit the vision boarding exercise with feeding my subconscious mind with enough impetus to help achieve my goal, to becoming a fulltime author.
Whatever stage of the writing cycle you are in, I’d recommend this exercise.
To find out how to create your own vision board click here
There, I said it.
We spend so much time online - On social media, and with digital marketing tools to drive our business. The only way to feed the creative energy inside is to unplug over the holidays.
Switch off the wifi, put away your devices, focus on people, family, friends, the trees, the scenery of the place you are on holiday. Anything to get away from the desk, the screen and reconnect with yourself.
It’s okay if you get bored. Boredom is what leads to fresh thinking and breakthroughs. If you can’t do this, then perhaps you can simply carve out portions of the day when you must connect back.
Me? I am not going to be writing or digital marketing during my holiday time. But I will cheat and post pictures on Instagram. That’s my compromise.
Tapping into your subconscious mind
If you have a concept or a plot line that you haven’t quite resolved, then this is the time to mull it over. While cooking the Christmas lunch, or spending time with family or taking a walk on the heath...do consciously pull out the projects you are working on, and think it over. You’ll be surprised how often it will end up in your finding a solution or simply giving you fresh thoughts for your project.
For more on how to tap into the power of your subconscious mind click here
Starting the new year
On New Year’s Eve I almost always put down the five things I want to achieve that year. It may sound new-age but somehow putting down my intentions, seems to kick start the road to achieving where I want to go. Do it, you’ll be surprised. More on this in the next post.
Have any other tips on how to use the downtime over the festive season in a more constructive way? Do tweet me @laxmi and let me know
Laxmi Hariharan is a New York Times bestselling author. Join her newsletter to get her starter library free here
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