Happy back to work/school everyone. I know many of you have already gone back to the office or back to class, but Labor Day has traditionally marked the end of summer. So, in keeping with that time honored tradition, I wanted to take this opportunity to give some tips to jumping back in and attacking your work with renewed abandon.
You see, D.W. and I are fully invested in the writing of book 3 of the Necromancers’ Pride Saga, Storm of Shadows. Our vacation will come when the series is complete. For now, it is vital that we push forward with all of our energy. To grow our world and honor the characters there within, not to mention to honor you, our amazing readers, we need to keep our motivation running high. Here are some steps we utilize in keeping ourselves motivated, especially after a vacation or a holiday threatens to slow our flow.
- Have an agenda. Make a plan, follow the plan. Take time to map out your first week back. Set a goal for what you want to accomplish that week, that month, a three month goal and a six month goal. Goals change as life happens, so it only stands to reason that the goals will change as well. However, by having set a series of goal in mind – written out so that they can be seen, adjusted and reached for daily – you create for yourself a stratagem for success. Taking the 20 plus minutes it will take to project success into your future will most assuredly set you on the path. You cannot reach your goals if you have no idea in which direction to begin looking for them. D.W. and I have mapped out the rest of 2014, and rest assured, we will see those goals achieved. Try it, you will truly feel accomplished when you look at what you plan for yourself.
- Establish your routine. Whether you are a planner (one who outlines meticulously what is to come), or a pantser (one who more readily flies by a more free flowing route), having a routine established will help you reach your goal. For me, it is get up, get the kids dressed and off to school with my wife, work out, then write, write, write. Business demands and workload are factored into the equation, but by establishing my set pattern, I can account for deviations from the norm and keep them from throwing me completely off of my goal plan. List those things that are important in your day-to-day, then prioritize how to fit them into your routine. Some will have to be sacrificed for others, but you will see what it truly important when you take the time to set your schedule. Get into a routine that makes your good habits become your norm and watch your productivity soar.
- Communicate your goals. Let others know what you have planned. Give those closest to you license to hold you accountable for your actions. By giving voice to all that you wish to accomplish, you will win the war over procrastination and laziness. Even with the successes D.W. and I have had, it is easy to relax and take our proverbial foot off the gas. Resting on laurels is simple and seductive. By being accountable to each other, we insure that we do not rest for too long. Resting is good and is a natural part of the process. However, resting too long just becomes languorous. Sharing with others what you want to do will make it not just a dream, but a viable goal to be achieved. You will do it, and your friends can help you get there.
- Plan your next vacation. Yep, it’s that simple. By having a reward set after the achievement of your goals, you have an added incentive to work hard and get the job done. When we finish Storm of Shadows, you had better believe I will be giving myself a little down time with the family on the beautiful, picturesque slopes of Mammoth Mountain (come on El Nino)! After that quick recharge, it will be back to making a new agenda, reestablishing my routine, letting D.W. know what is planned and yes … you guessed it, planning where to celebrate our successes when our next goals are met.
So there you have it. The steps are simple, but that is because they are effective. You would be surprised how many people decide not to take these simple steps. Take the time, the rewards you will reap will be vast, indeed.
What other steps can you think of to bounce back to work after a vacation?
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