Repeat To Self: Food, Sleep, Exercise Are Not Time Wasters

http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/2008/05/repeat-to-self-food-sleep-exercise-are-not-time-wasters/

We’ve got two major time wasters leftover from last week. I’m saving my worst sin, “Getting side tracked while posting” for last. Today let’s talk about work breaks and everyday life stuff, like sleep, meals, and exercise.

Breaks, sleeping, eating, and exercise are things I don’t have a lot of time for when I’m in full work mode, so I tend to consider them time wasters. However, they’re not really time wasters, are they? If I avoid them, my work suffers. Obviously we can function on very little sleep, food, and exercise when we want, but it’s just not healthy. Sometimes I’ll work so hard on the weekends, I’ll skip two mealtimes and not even realize it. Or at least I used to. Here’s how I’ve been running things for the last few weeks.

Rules I made for myself:

Never eat at the computer. Never. I don’t care if I have a deadline or not, if you’re going to eat, take a break and eat, then get back to work. Then you get to eat and take a break – double them up.

Set the timer for meals. Because I’m bad about eating on the weekends, I started setting my cell phone timer to go off at dinner and lunch. This has worked pretty well. Twice I turned it off, and since I was in the middle of something, went back to work, and forgot it went off, so I had to add in a new rule; when it goes off, I save what I’m doing and get up from the chair.

Exercise like it’s a normal day. On weekdays (when I don’t work full-time) I exercise in the mornings, plus my son and I usually go for a long walk each day, and in the evenings play soccer or Frisbee at the park. I never used to exercise on the weekends because there’s just no time. However, I realized that I feel more energized on the weekdays, and thought, hey, maybe it’s the darn exercise. That said, I decided to keep my regular exercise routines somewhat on the weekends. I cut out the long walk, but I do still ride my bike, and although my son is with his dad on the weekends, the ex lives next door, so I just go borrow Cedar for some evening park play on at least one weekend day.

Take normal breaks: It’s not smart to sit at your desk for hours on end. I will though, so I made up a rule that every four posts I get up and walk around for at least five minutes, but I aim for ten minutes. During my little breaks I’ll do boring stuff like throw in laundry or wash some dishes; dull but a good break from sitting. I also do some desk stretches.

Sleep: I don’t tend to sleep much on the weekends, and I haven’t been exactly successful at finding a way to make me go to bed. Really, I’d rather work than sleep on the weekends. Bad; I know. It’s also not productive, once you’re too tired, you’re just hitting the keyboard all helter skelter style. I’m one of those who can function well on very little sleep. Even when I’m super tired, I only sleep about five hours a stretch (at most). My current goal is simply to go to bed when I’m tired. Once I stay up past the point of tired I hit a new stride and end up staying up.

What’s working. Since I implemented my new eat, sleep, exercise, and break goals, I’ve been doing ok. Except for on the sleep issue. Since I’m not perfect, I have to take what I can get, and hopefully formulate a new sleep plan. Do you skip sleep when you’re in full-time work mode, or are you worse about skipping out on something else, like exercise?

What are your goals for a healthy lifestyle when you’re blogging full-time?

Actual time wasting activities you might be interested in:

Comments

  1. I eat snacks at the computer, but get up for meals.

  2. Don’t eat at the computer — what a concept! I’m so bad about this and it makes my husband particularly crazy since he often wants to sit down and have lunch with me.

  3. Great post! Paying attention to exercise, sleep and eating is so important.

    Your tip about not eating at the computer is great. While it is work, it is also screen time. Similar to eating while watching tv, it is easy to get distracted and eat more than you think. Combine that with skipping exercise some days and you know what happens! :)

    I’m glad to see the importance of the health of freelance writers/bloggers being emphasized.

  4. @Lori I know! Blogging is so not great for your rear end region. Especially if you don’t exercise, and eat too much at the screen.

    @Cynthia See, now that’s nice. You can eat with your hubby. Actually, my son is a good meal reminder, but he’s only with me M-F, so on the weekends I don’t hear, “Mama it’s FOOD TIME” – makes it easy to forget.

    @Peggy that’s why that cat hangs around – snacks!

  5. LOL Jennifer, you are exactly right. He always tries to get my food at the computer.

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