Earlier this year, I made a commitment to take Fridays off. I was burnt out and hating everything and felt like if I didn’t get some serious rest, I might die. Which, looking back, was probably just a tad alarmist, but I felt really, really crappy at the time. So after some conversations with friends and colleagues and coach-y/mastermind-y type people, I decided I would not be working on Friday for the rest of the summer.
That lasted about two weeks.
However, you’re reading this, which means, unless I really am a ghostwriter (get it?), I’m not dead. And I don’t even feel particularly crappy. Because, while I’m not exactly taking Fridays off, I also make sure I dedicate a good portion of every Friday to the pursuit of sloth and self-indulgence.
This actually started back when Joel and I had our TV promo agency in L.A., although our name for Friday was something very specific I’m not going to repeat here. Running that business, especially the first few months, was really demanding – so we built in our “special” Fridays as a survival tactic. We wouldn’t take the day off (a weekday off was not really an option in the TV biz back then), but we would work on our terms — starting late and hanging out in bed if we felt like it, or going home or to the beach for lunch, or whatever sounded like fun that day.
We still got stuff done. Just in between the fun stuff.
It worked out pretty well. Friday became our favorite day of the week, because it wasn’t for the kids, who were young and all-consuming back then, or the business, which consumed whatever was left after the kids were done with us. It was just for Joel and me. So when I couldn’t make the whole Fridays off thing work this summer, Joel and I brought back The-Friday-Ritual-That-Will-Remain-Nameless. And it’s turned Friday into my favorite day of the week — again! (Not that I didn’t really, really like Fridays before…)
Now I write all my blog posts on Friday — since I start work when I feel like it, it’s not a day when I’m realistically gonna deal with hard deadlines. And okay, technically a blog post I plan to post the same day has a deadline, but I’ve reached the point where stream-of-consciousness-ing 500 words or so every week is kind of easy.
Seriously. I’m not even trying right now.
But the best part of Friday (besides the doing whatever I want part, which is admittedly the actual best best part) is that it’s the day I get to be creative. Being totally relaxed about work puts me in a much better place to let my brain wander and explore than sitting down at my computer with “gotta get this done, gotta get this done” repeating over and over in my head. It makes what I do fun. And when writing is fun, different stuff comes out.
By now, you probably get where this is leading…but in case you’re not on to all my tricks yet, I’ll spell it out. If you’re stuck on something creative – say, a writing project! – and you need a new perspective, it might be time to try some good old fashioned sloth and self-indulgence for yourself. Take some time to give yourself whatever you crave (within reason), to do whatever feels good, and see what that shakes loose.
The worst thing that can happen is you’ll have a good time.
Of course, there’s another way to get past writer’s block — and that’s to download my FREE guide, The Positively True, Actual Professional Writer’s Guide to Beating Writer’s Block. Reading it might not qualify as self-indulgence – but it might clear some sloth space on your schedule…