Humbly Dedicated To:
All of us
„Look, I really need to come with an idea for the next blog post. I need to keep the flow to stay relevant otherwise all of this will be for nothing. I’m really sorry, but I can’t go on a vacation and take a break this year. We’ll do it next year.” Odmoron was saying to his girlfriend who just got her days off from her work.
It was August and Odmoron who worked as a freelance writer for various companies, was also trying to make his blog happen. Although he enjoyed working on his blog, he often felt frustrated and tired. He also felt taking a break was something he couldn’t afford at the moment.
“Odmoron, you need some time off, we need some time off. Your blog won’t disappear if for one week you don’t do anything. Who knows, it might even help you get new ideas on which you can work when you get back.” His girlfriend answered in a way that was both well-intended and a bit angry.
“No. If I take a week off, that’s one week less that could be invested into making my blog grow. It will just pull me back where I was at the beginning. Finally, I’ve been getting some attention and I need to keep working on that. If I just get one quality post good enough to go viral, everything will go smoothly from there.”
Odmoron was stubborn. He’s been reading many guides on how to earn money from blogging, he’d sometimes even forget to do the most important thing – writing.
So here he was, trying to come up with a fresh new idea – the one that will bring him closer to his dream. A day passed and another and another. Sure he wrote a post or two, but neither of them was good enough, they were average at best. Although Odmoron was really focused on his blog, most of his days he’d spent worrying instead of actually being productive. Then he’d create an excuse for not being productive by reading books and watching videos on how to create a successful blog. Odmoron was trapped in a vicious circle where he felt nothing but disappointment. The final blow would happen at night when he’d read his previous posts and realize they were what they were – average.
So Odmoron finally decided he should take a small break. He’ll simply work less. Instead of spending 8 hours per day in front of his laptop, he’ll spend 2, 3 hours max, and the rest he’ll spend relaxing. A perfect plan that was impossible to put in practice.
Although Odmoron did respect this “break-schedule”, he still felt stressed, sad, and no original ideas came to him.
One day as he was drinking his morning coffee in a local café, a middle-aged woman came to him and asked if she could sit beside him. Just like that, she decided to sit and have a talk, something you don’t experience often. They started the usual talk you do with people you first meet: who are you, what do you do, where you are from, etc.
“So you’re a writer who’s also working on his blog and is trying to catch that imaginary golden post? How long have you said you’ve been working on this? 7 months?” The woman asked our hero.
“Yes, and I’m trying really hard, but I just can’t make it happen.”
“Look, let me give you a small advice. Let’s say you’re working 8 hours per day, 7 days a week. I think you know by now what’s the purpose of sleep, right? To fill your batteries so your body can function the next day. If you want your body to function it needs to get some sleep, it needs to take a break. The same thing is with your creativity. If you want your creative juices to flow, you need to give them some time off. Currently, your brain is overheating and your creativity is blocked. It’s not that you’re not creative; it’s just your blocking it.”
“Look at it like this; let’s bring in a bit math. Let’s take your current approach to work. You’re working every day, but because you’re tired you’re using only around 40% of your potential. Let’s imagine this brings you 40 win points at the end of the day. Yeah, I know, “win points” sounds stupid, but bear with me. So if every day of the week you work at 40% of your potential on average, after two weeks you’ll have 560 “win points”. But let’s say you take a break. You’ll feel refreshed and both your body and your mind will be ready for anything that gets thrown at them. You’ll be working at 80-100% of your potential which will bring you 80-100 points at the end of the day. So after taking one week off and working for one week, you’ll end up with 490-700 points by spending the same amount of time – two weeks. “
“Of course, this math is bullshit and something I’ve just invented, but you understand what I’m saying. We spend so much time worrying and creating something that’s half-productive at its best, on the long runs you end up with nothing. But if you just take some time off every now and then, your mind will be much more creative and on the long runs you’ll not just see better results, but what’s more important, you’ll feel happy. So Odmoron, don’t be an idiot, go on a trip with your girlfriend and enjoy yourself. Don’t touch anything that’s remotely connected to work, just enjoy. After you get back home, start working again and see where this takes you. But only after you felt you’ve truly enjoyed yourself. “
So Odmoron did take a break and he went on a trip with his girlfriend. He didn’t touch anything that would connect him to the Internet and he simply had a good time. After one week, he got back home and started working again.
And yes, I know. You’re expecting this story to end with a happy ending where Odmoron did end up writing a successful blog post, but it won’t. It won’t also be a sad ending. It will simply be an ending.
When Odmoron came back home he started working on his blog again. He wrote a couple of new posts, they got some attention, but he still didn’t manage to write his “golden post”. Still, he was happy. He felt less stressed out and he managed to focus his time more on productivity and less on doing nothing. He was happy, his girlfriend was happy and his blog was slowly, but steadily getting bigger and bigger.
As you probably figured it out, this story is semi auto-biographical so do take my advice and take at least a week off from all the writing, text editing, image creating, SEOing, social mediaing, and everything else that goes with it. Trust me, you’ll find more productivity if for one week you do nothing than you would if you constantly worked on anything. You’ll feel refreshed and more open for the battles to come.
If nothing else, do take it for the sake of me sacrificing a couple of hours of my vacation to write this story. I just felt I need to share my thoughts. You don’t need to go to another place, just press that off button on every machine you own and take a really deep breath; a 7 days long breath.
Also, let me know if this worked out for you. I would be glad if you share your thoughts with me about this topic.