If you want to elevate your career, you need the space and time to think.
My sickness in early July meant I didn’t really have the time to think about plans, goals, achievements, and losses for the first half of the year. However, the moment I was back up on my feet again, I decided it was time for a half-yearly review.
I am, as is to be expected, happy with certain things and not with others.
In July, I started transitioning from writer to entrepreneur and the decisions we made and the risks we took required a lot of stepping back and thinking about the big picture.
Here’s the thing, though. You can’t think of big pictures without actually having the time and the space to step back. You need to do this without clients calling you every three seconds, without the to-do lists that weigh heavy on your shoulders, and if you can afford it, a retreat might actually be the best way to do it.
We couldn’t afford a retreat this year in time or money, but I found other ways to disconnect from everything and took the time to think about the overall scope of my business and my career. There included:
1. Go for a daily walk or run
I’ve become lax at this lately (I blame the sickness) but this is usually the time when I step back from everything and take in what’s going on around me in a disconnected way. I go to the park to run instead of jumping on the treadmill or hitting the gym because the scenery and the fresh air make the activity more stimulating.
2. Take an hour before bed
You could just clean out your office and disconnect mentally, if not physically. It’s a time when you don’t actually do any work, but think about the plans and goals. Don’t write anything down. Just let your mind wander and make random connections. You can journal, if that helps you think better.
3. Go stay with parents or friends
My parents live in the middle of nowhere, so when I go to stay with them, the scenery is very different from my noisy city neighborhood. It’s a change of pace, and sometimes that’s all I need for my mind to disconnect.
It doesn’t have to be to Bali. It could simply be to the next town on the train. The point is to get out of your head and your life and surround yourself with new experiences.
Natasha Khullar Relph
Founder and Editor, The Wordling
Natasha Khullar Relph is an award-winning journalist and author with bylines in The New York Times, TIME CNN, BBC, ABC News, Ms. Marie Claire, Vogue, and more. She is the founder of The Wordling, a weekly business newsletter for journalists, authors, and content creators. Natasha has mentored over 1,000 writers, helping them break into dream publications and build six-figure careers. She is the author of Shut Up and Write: The No-Nonsense, No B.S. Guide to Getting Words on the Page and several other books.
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