It’s so hard to get back into routine, isn’t it, after a break? You anticipate feeling refreshed after some time off, only to find you’re not as revitalised by the experience as you’d hoped.
Studies have shown it can take days to return to normal after time off, with at least three days to return to your usual sleep patterns—four if you’ve taken off two weeks, according to one recent survey of 2,000 adults. Evidently, at this time of year (winter here in Europe), that’s exacerbated by the short dark days that sap energy levels (unsurprisingly), and by some of us being impacted by SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), which affects the sleep-wake cycle (circadian rhythm).
I went back to work last Thursday and yet Monday tomorrow is still presenting a bit of a shock, perhaps because the kids are back to school. Things that have helped so far include:
– setting priorities in a ‘must-do’ rather than a ‘to-do’ list, then at least the most important tasks get accomplished – you cannot do it all in one day;
– scheduling the rest of the month clearly, to stay attuned to the art of the possible and to set some fresh objectives;
– going easy on myself the first weekend after going back, not too many commitments, leaving time to sleep and rest, plus some small treats waiting;
– getting back to healthy eating.
I don’t know about you, but I am not one for setting hard and fast New Year’s resolutions. In fact, my weedy resolve to save money post-Christmas has already been bashed by a couple of January sales temptations.
About a year ago, though (in the post here), one year into setting up a blog, I did lay out some ‘blogging goals’, and now is the time to review whether I have met them.
- Be a ‘conscious follower’: continue only to follow blogs you will really read, not simply in the hope of being followed back.
Pretty much kept to this. I haven’t followed all the blogs I would like to, nor taken the time I’d ideally like to seek out new ones, but I don’t randomly follow blogs in the indistinct hope of being followed in return either.
- Engage 1: Don’t leave ‘blind likes’ on posts; take the time to read them properly:
Yes, no ‘blind likes’, I read the posts I like or comment on, even though I don’t read as many as I’d like.
- Engage 2: If you particularly enjoyed or were interested in a blog, take the time to comment. And take time to ‘like’ thoughtful comments that others have left.
Hm. Not as much as I had hoped; I would still like to engage more and more meaningfully.
- Engage 3: Be responsive when others leave comments on post.
Mostly! As I wrote last year, that’s one of the best bits.
- Keep reading, keep learning: Learn from others – those who write good blogs, whether it’s their style, ability to engage, content, whatever…
Again, not as much as I intended or would like to, pleading the horribly inevitable ‘lack of time’. I need to make time and do better on this.
- Stay regular: In my case, that’s continuing to aim to blog weekly.
Nearly – not quite! Holiday time is the main issue here. Weekly blogging is small-time stuff for many bloggers, but remains realistic for me—I know I’ll never have a huge, monetised blog, and that’s not the aim.
- Be analytical: Be better at understanding ‘what works’, which posts gain a positive response or interaction.
Not really! Report card reads: could do better. I could benefit from having a more consistent focus – but I like writing across several topics, which brings us to…
- Enjoy it: In fact, only do it if you’re still enjoying it.
Yes. Thankfully…So here’s to another year.
Writing objectives by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash
Twenty Twenty by Glen Carrie on Unsplash