I looked at my work list both at my day job and my writing job. I plan my days and weeks carefully (I am a calendar freak and love planning projects). I tried to leave space for free time as well, but too often I found it too hard to stop working. I'd just do this thing, oh and that shouldn't take long... And then it was already time to go to sleep, and my brains kept churning the work-stuff all through the night. I woke up and observed my thoughts planning on doing something still undone. A constant monologue was taking place.
Not good. So I decided to try to stop something I've been doing... well, just about always. At least in my own life, even if I cannot do that at work.
That thing is multitasking. Doing five things at the same time. I've learned the bad habit at work, I am sure. I start concentrating on a thing to do - and the phone rings. I do whatever the call required, and then go back to my original job. And then someone comes to see me and ask for advice. I give the advice, wonder where I was, continue the job, and an email pops up on the screen announcing an urgent thing to do - right now, in the next fifteen minutes. I handle it, feeling my blood pressure rise, and then return to my job. Which is interrupted by a phone call. And so it goes.
Anyone who works in today's corporate world knows what this is like. More often than not you have the original job still undone at the end of the day. And you either do overtime to finish that job, or try again with better luck the next day. Coming an hour early the next morning before the phone begins to ring is one way to handle the ever growing work list.
After a day like that I feel exhausted. And I still have my writing to do for the day (the 1000 words target per day).
So, I get home, and there I don't multitask anymore. I take my list of things to do about my writing, but I don't do any of that stuff until I have written my 1000 words. If I don't have time for anything else, so be it. I use my calendar to write three things I could do that day, but only after I have written my 1000 words.
So far, using this method, I have written 123.813 words this year. I am ahead of schedule. And I have managed to write on Facebook, to tweet, and even plan some marketing for my book (funds and time permitting).
The feeling of writing without any other task disturbing my concentration is heavenly.
And I also try to spend the last hour before bedtime without doing anything. Reading. Maybe watching TV (but nothing too exciting so my mind calms down). Calm music is good.
I found this picture I took many years ago in Lake Garda in Italy on a holiday. It was a good holiday, relaxing, no work done. And I wrote those words on the picture, to remember that feeling of relaxation.