Balancing Work and Play
One of the hardest things for magazine writers who work from home is finding a balance between work and play. The fact that you wake up in the morning mere steps from your desk, and that your computer is always available to you right before bedtime, means that you may be tempted to work far more than you should. Checking that e-mail one last time before you drift off to sleep can quickly turn into a few extra hours a day spent at the computer. That's not good for your health, not good for your work, and certainly not good for your personal relationships.
Get Out of Your Chair
The first thing that you can do to combat workaholic tendencies is to make a point of stepping away from your computer every couple of hours. Set an alarm clock to tell you when you've been typing for more than, say, three hours, and consider spending a half-hour doing something active, such as:
Walking your dog
Some of these activities definitely fall into the category of chores, but they're still good break-time ideas because they force you to move around. Even the most die-hard workaholic can see the value of taking a few minutes off to, say, do laundry, and the act of carrying the basket of clothes around will be good for your blood flow.
Get Out of Your House
On weekends or slow days when you have no assignments, it's important that you get out of your house. Simply being at a movie theater or a restaurant will be a good way to leave your home-office worries behind, and taking an actual vacation will be a rejuvenating change that should help you stay focused on your writing business for months to come.
Several 2006 studies show that only about 60 percent of Americans take a summer vacation, the least amount of people traveling on vacation in nearly three decades. Experts say it takes at least three days to start to unwind from your job — so being part of that 60 percent is paramount to your long-term health and happiness.
Budgeting time and money for a vacation is something many magazine writers fail to do, but it's important if you want to remain sane throughout your career. It's also important if you want to continue thriving creatively, since getting out into the world and experiencing new things will help you to become a better writer.
Get out of Your Routine
Even if you find that you can't get out of your house for a reasonable vacation, it's important that you at least break out of your routine from time to time. Otherwise, you can start to feel like a prisoner in your own home office — and your writing will suffer because of it.
If you usually work Mondays through Fridays, consider taking a Wednesday off and instead typing during the weekend. If you usually work from early morning till mid-afternoon, think about spending one morning reading a favorite book and then typing after dinner. The mere act of shaking up your schedule can sometimes be enough to help you feel like you've had a break, which every writer needs to remember to take.