Hello fellow writers. Todays post is not at all inspired by me sitting at my kitchen table on Sunday stressed about tomorrow’s tasks. I mean, I have a daily writing habit now, so I never experience guilt or the stress of “I should be writing,” right?! Hah. Academic work ethic guilt runs deep and does not go away just because you’ve realigned your habits, so today I’m talking about 3 things I do to deal with stress on my days off!
The Sunday meeting: The NCFDD gave me this idea (they’re great and I highly recommend seeing if your campus has a membership). Basically, on Sunday night you look at your semester plan and decide what needs to get done for the week. You set your writing goals (I aim to set no more than 3–best to feel accomplished by Friday!).
Then, you calendar your writing goals. FIRST. Before student meetings. Before the random committee you’re on calls a virtual chat. After the writing time is scheduled–in blocks! on the calendar! like a real meeting!–you add in everything else.
This ritual has greatly reduced the time I spend sitting at my computer too overwhelmed to start. It helps me to make choices about what I’m doing and when!
The brain dump: This is actually just a piece of advice I read about sleeping better, but it’s also less committed than the Sunday meeting so nice at any point when you’re stressed. Basically, right before bed, take out a piece of paper and write down every task that is on your mind. Then you’ll know they’re somewhere so that you don’t have to remember and worry about them all night. Or all weekend! I’ve taken to writing them on my campus whiteboard before I leave on Friday.
Schedule send: So, I really try not to work on weekends, and I firmly believe in protecting other people’s time and not interrupting them, but sometimes my inbox gets really really stressful by Sunday night. Lately, I’ve just been using the “schedule send” button on Gmail to write a few emails and get them ready to send out for Monday morning.
I try to make this fun, so I actually just did it while listening to fun music. Trash TV also works. The time limit is key, I have found. I try not to do it for more than 30 minutes, but it does free up my headspace the rest of the day, and on Sunday morning.
By the way, have you turned on “send and archive” in Gmail yet? I use it to effectively disappear emails after I’ve replied to them. It means the only things in my inbox are things I haven’t replied to yet, and I find a lot less gets lost this way!
Those are all my Sunday scary thoughts! You deserve a break! More on how I take weekends off can be found here.