Ah, back-to-school time. I greet it with mixed emotions, as do probably all school staff members. I love my school life, but I love my summer life, too! And I have different writing routines for both parts of the year.
If, like me, you’re ready to revamp your writing schedule for back-to-school time, you may want to:
Just because you’re refocusing doesn’t mean you have to revert back to your pre-summer routine. With all the fresh-start energy available at this time of year, take a close look into your heart. When you refocus from your heart, you may end up with a surprisingly different routine! Ask yourself questions like:
- “What does success look like to me?”
- “What do I want that I don’t have?”
- “What are my obsessions?”
- “What contributions can I make to my community?”
- “What are my values?”
- “What would I regret not doing?”
Set Specific Goals
From the answers you find to the questions above, make a list of your goals. Envision your goals for 3-5 years ahead, 1 year ahead, and year’s end. (I even give myself a little grace and consider December 1st to be year’s end. That way, I take a month off for Christmas, but if I need to I can sneak in a few tasks to wrap up what I couldn’t accomplish by November 30th! Try it; it makes December way more fun.)
Write down your goals, and post them somewhere you can see everyday. The crazy truth is, even though these goals are so important, we forget them — or at least forget their intensity — if we don’t remind ourselves each day. This simple practice has made such a difference in my work.
Put your new routine into action and set a two-week trial period. Maybe you decided to write in the morning instead of at night. Evaluate your results and decide if you need to tweak your schedule. Maybe your kids’ fall practice schedule allows an extra half-hour in your mobile office (the car!) that you’d like to utilize for editing or answering emails to free up more time earlier in the day.
Remember, you’re not married to your routine. Give it enough time to truly try the changes, but ditch them if they’re not working after a few weeks.
Seize the renewed focus of back-to-school season to take a critical look at your writing routine. What’s working and what needs to go?
How do you like to refocus and redesign your routine? Share your tips in the comments!