For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been on furlough since the UK lockdown started in March, and this week I found out I’m going back to work.
My life is a bit backwards – I consider my writing to be my career, and my gym job is a hobby which pays my bills.
And oh, how I’ve missed my hobby. Working out from home is great if you have the motivation, which I sometimes lack – for example, I planned to work out this morning, and instead I’m writing about it…
The one teeny, tiny downside is I’ll have to fit my writing around work again rather than fitting the rest of my life around writing. In a year when I published a book, had another accepted, and was working on a third, having the time to focus solely on my writing has been an interesting experiment. I’ve always wondered if I’d cope with writing full time, or if I’d become isolated and withdrawn. And the answer is that I’ll probably be okay.
As long as there aren’t any global pandemic restrictions in place!
Here are a couple of strategies that I’m hoping will help me as I stumble back into what I used to call normal. Hopefully it will help you too.
- Have a clear idea of what you want to achieve each day – it might be a new chapter, rewriting an old one, checking for 5 overused words (from your list of 28), cleaning out the fridge, going for coffee with a friend
- Take some time to get used to it. Back when you went on furlough or started working from home, there was a period of adjustment, and there needs to be again. If you need to watch TV because work has exhausted you, do it. You’ll get used to it soon, I promise
- Make sure you eat and drink enough. I’ve got used to grazing, and drinking multiple mugs of tea throughout the day. At work, I need to be more structured, which means I might have to prepare larger snacks
- If you miss a goal, don’t worry, just add it to tomorrow’s to-do list
- Enjoy your travel to and from work. I’m lucky – I’m within walking distance, and on a sunny winter afternoon, it’s very pleasant. I try to look around and breathe deeply and say hello to the people I pass in the street (obviously, in a socially-distanced, standing in the road kind of way)
- Don’t write off those small chunks of time you might have – lunch hour, waiting for a train etc. I may have to do some split shifts, with three or four hour gaps in my day. I’m guilty of thinking there’s no point starting anything now because… when actually I could be very productive.
I think that’s enough advice. After all, the whole world seems to have gone back to work long before now. I’m simply writing a whole blog post just for me!
Do you have any other tips for me to try?
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