Back in 2007, Tim Ferris released a mega best-seller called The 4-Hour Workweek. He’s since gone on to release a couple of other best-sellers but it was his first book that really put him on the map. It was a great title for sure. Who doesn’t want a four-hour work week?
I’ve always joked, however, that there was no way Tim Ferris was only spending four hours a week working on writing and then getting the word out about his book. As I’ve been doing the same thing on my second book, Overworked and Overwhelmed: The Mindfulness Alternative this year, I’ve been reminded of what a time intensive process it is to write a book and then let the world know about it. (After all, what’s the point of writing it for people if no one knows it’s there?)
The biggest challenge for me this year has been to write the book and meet my normal business obligations without becoming—you guessed it—overworked and overwhelmed. It’s been an interesting exercise in eating my own dog food. I’m happy to report that it actually tastes pretty good and that most days and weeks turn out pretty well.
Still, as my wife and business partner Diane and I move closer to the Oct. 13 launch of the new book, we’ve found the daily grind to be more intense than usual. The good news is that working on the book has made us more acutely aware of the disparity between showing up in a mindful—aware and intentional—way and just putting our heads down and continuing to grind it out hour after hour.
For us, being mindful includes things like regular quiet time and exercise each day, but it also means tuning in to when we just need to inject a little more life into the daily grind. For instance, after a long day of work last Wednesday, we decided about a half hour before dinner time to go out to eat instead of the normal routine of having dinner at home. It was just a couple of hours that made it easier to get out of our heads, enjoy each other’s company and get a change of scene. Going out to eat was a super simple but highly effective way of injecting some life into the daily grind. When we got back to the work the next morning, it was with a little more energy, enthusiasm and creativity.
What super simple thing could you do this week to inject some life into your daily grind?