As you know I'm currently not on a digital sabbatical. I've simply broken free from commitments for 3 weeks. We're now 1 week into it. If you need to get in touch please wait until I'm back from touring the UK with my friends The Swellers. You can follow our adventures by following them on twitter: @theswellers.
Last Monday I stated that I lead one of the most stress free lives possible. I'd like to re-phrase that. I have a lot of stress, but it's mostly good stress. Eustress. Launching a product is stressful, but feels great. Writing a book is stressful, but feels great. Figuring out how to establish sponsorships for RollerCoasterTour.com is stressful, but feels great. Thinking about doing a 3 month road trip around the US is stressful, but feels great.
That said, I realized that maybe being on the blogging treadmill is bad stress.
I love writing and I do it every day, but sometimes I don't want to release my writing to the world. Sometimes I want to keep it to myself. It's not for selfish reasons, it's just a lot of writing isn't meant for the world to read. Which means I regularly have this feeling that "Oh crap, I didn't write anything for my blog, and it's post day tomorrow!"
Even though I have 50+ article drafts (some ready to go at a moment's notice, some not even close to ready), that last feeling is not a eustress feeling. It's straight up regular bad stress.
On the other hand, it's necessary. I know if I stop writing publicly on a regular schedule (every Monday & Thursday, sometimes Saturday) then I'll go weeks and maybe months without doing it. The momentum will die and that will be that. Like a lot of people in this day and age, focus can be an issue for me. I like to work on new projects. I don't usually stay with the same thing for years upon years. I've gone from eBay to infoproducts to SEO to PPC to blogging/infoproducts (among a few other things) in the past 11 years.
The one constant is that I like to be in hustle mode, in the thick of things, back to the wall. Once a certain level of success is reached it's easy to get complacent.
That all said, Ridiculously Extraordinary is the first thing I've done that I can see myself doing for life, in various iterations. I know it will evolve and will take different forms, but the general concept of putting my writing and other creations out into the public is a keeper.
How To Keep From Falling Off The Treadmill Before You're Thrown OffThe last thing you want to happen when you step on a treadmill is to get thrown off. An injury can be just as stressful as running too long on the treadmill in the first place.
1) Be Mindful
You have to be mindful of what's going on and realize you've actually stepped on the treadmill. Many of us don't even realize we're on a treadmill, running hard, but not going anywhere. If you're going through the motions then you're on a treadmill.
2) Step Off / Slow Down
It's OK to take a break and step off the treadmill. If nothing else, decrease the speed and incline for a few minutes to make it a little bit easier while you catch your breath.
3) You're A Machine, But You're Not
The human body is the greatest machine ever built. But if you run a machine (like a treadmill) at full speed without stopping it will break down. It's better to step off and slow down before you get to this point, because a breakdown will cost you more than a break.
4) Plan For A Big Return
I don't mean you need to plan for a dramatic return. But when you take your break have a plan in action to get right back into the thick of things. A break can easily turn into more. It's all about your mindset. If you use your break as a creative recharge as opposed to "I'm ignoring everybody/everything and running away from life!" you'll come back from your break reinvigorated.
If you've ever been on a "life treadmill" I would appreciate sharing this article on Facebook/Twitter as a reminder to yourself and your friends that there are options ...