Prior to the Christmas holidays I’d been feeling frazzled; thinking too much and feeling too little. In this modern age it’s all too easy to want to be able to do everything and be good at it all to boot but of course that simply cannot be the case without something giving way.
After two weeks off, where I was offline most of the time and feeling pretty darn happy about it too, I knew being more mindful of my time online (and unplugging) was something I wanted to carry on going forward.
So to find a little focus for the month ahead, I scribbled three things in my notebook at the beginning of January; make time to read, be online purposefully and write creatively.
It’s not been as straight forward as I thought. It’s easy to make goals when you’ve had a break, away from your regular routine and work commitments. So I think it’s really important to evaluate your goals/resolutions at the end of January to work out any niggles; not give up and make adjustments here and there. Here’s what I’ve realised…
Making time to read|I’ve been reading just before I go to bed but after 20 or so pages I’m falling asleep fast.
Positive notes| I’m definitely reading more than previous months, and sleeping better too (uninterrupted sleep). It’s made me want to write more and it’s another activity (as well as Roller Derby) where I am completely in the present and not thinking of anything else. I’m also hoping it will help with my alertness (my attention span is terrible).
Going forward| Take a book with me wherever I go. Bring it downstairs after my night time read to encourage me to pick it up in the evening rather than watching TV or playing on the phone.
Be online purposefully| This is HARD. My permanent work requires me to be online 60% of the time but I find I’m more purposeful with my approach to it. So I need to try this approach with my blog and freelance work as it’s these that end up filtering through into my free time. When I really want to keep them separate.
Positive notes | I’ve used my DSLR more this month rather than my phone camera when out and about. I love taking photos on my iPhone for ease but, it does draw you back in to your notifications etc. I’ve also been outdoors more when working freelance which means I’m forced to be offline or at least limit my use. Going for early long dog walks and meeting with other freelance folk really helps me creatively and works wonders for taking time out from the online world.
Going forward| Get outdoors more. Encourage the OH to do the same so we’re both not tempted to go online. I automatically go online if the OH is on the computer etc. Solidarity in numbers!
Write Creatively| What I mean by this is to write more recreationally away from my working life.
Positive notes| I’ve been doing it! All inspired by the Bruntwood Prize competition. I’ve spent time watching playwriting workshops on YouTube then actually writing. Actually writing dialogue, actually working on themes, characters and writing techniques. It’s fun. And it feels right.
Going forward| Writing has pinched some of my blog writing time this month, which I really don’t want to get into a habit of. I’ll work on this. Also, Is like to allocate time twice a month in a coffee shop to write away from home and other distractions.
Did you make any goals for 2017? How are they going?