Usually when someone talks about taking a break from work, I think about 15 minutes or so – a short break. Those of us who spend a good deal of our work time in front of a computer do well to take a few minutes every hour or so away from that infernal machine that I both love and hate.
If the break is going to be a day or two or even longer I tend to categorize it as a vacation.
I recently stumbled into another way to take some time just for me, and that’s a mediation retreat that meets once or twice a day, and leaves some time during the day for me to spend as I choose. In my case, it’s a Stages of the Path retreat at the Vajrarupini Buddhist Center here in San Diego.
The pattern of time is 7 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.; 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.-6 p.m. That leaves a good portion of the day available for work, living, naps, shopping, etc.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be a Buddhist retreat, or even a spiritual retreat to make this pattern work as a real break or change from a more typical writing schedule. The idea of two hours in the morning and an hour and a half in the afternoon for five days devoted to something that’s quite different from writing and totally self-supporting is a workable plan for many people. And if you can’t devote that much time, any portion of such a schedule can work well for you.
I’ll be glad to get back to my regular schedule next week; I can tell already that I’ll feel even more refreshed and renewed than I do now.
How do you give yourself breaks from your writing/editing work?
Image from http://www.sxc.hu