Goof Off Productively

Remember the old Billy Ocean song When The Going Gets Tough? If you're not old enough to remember the song, look it up on iTunes. What do you do when the going gets tough? The way you answer that question may determine your longevity as a writer—and as a human being.

You've heard the old cliché and seen the inspirational posters: "When the going gets tough, the tough get going." Right?

Well, usually. Sometimes when the going gets tough, if you've been fighting the good fight for a long time, maybe you should just relax a bit. Take a load off, Fanny, to quote another old song. Take a vacation even if it's just a day off to goof around.

Goof Off Productively

Here are a few tips to make the most of goofing off so you don't get stuck and can get back to work productively when the time is right.

1. Set a time limit for your down time. Figure out if a couple of days or a week will do it. Or do you need a week or longer?

2. Plan activities that renew and energize you and dive in.  What did you do before you developed tunnel vision? Re-discover those activities.

3. Make a road map of how you'll get back to your work. You always need a plan so you don't take more time away than is necessary to recharge your battery.

4. When you return to work, take some time every day to recharge. Next time, don't wait until you're burned out to seek renewal. Do it every day.

Takeaway Truth

When you return to your work, whether that's writing or something else, you'll be surprised by how optimistic and peaceful you'll feel.


  1. Thanks, Kathleen. Just about everyone I know courts burnout far too often.