Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Working Under Pressure

Okay, so I may have over-scheduled February a little. It feels like I'm being torn into shreds, and each part of my life gets exactly one little ribbon of my attention.

It's not pretty.

And then I decided to NiNoReMo it up. (Don't know what that is? Well, click here.) It was necessary, and I have a looming deadline, so I'm not complaining.

But holy squeeze-every-minute-out-of-my-day cow.

I'd like to think I'm good at working under pressure. It just doesn't feel like it. So I'm looking for ten-minute vacations. Something I can do in my own house. (Does watching The Bachelor count? Because I so did that Monday night.)

What do you do to de-stress when you don't have a lot of time, and can't go anywhere, and have mountains of work to get done?

61 comments:

Brenda said...

I eat Doritos. And run. Although Doritoes ARE my comfort food. One crunch and the hint of artificial nacho cheese on my tongue and I feel better. Not the best method, but excessive Dorito consumption almost always begets running, so maybe it's not so bad.

Good luck with all of your to-do's!

Natalie Aguirre said...

I usually just dig in. I give up lunch breaks and drink lots of coffee. But to be honest, this month has been unbearably busy. I've had total stressed out moments, like when the garage froze yesterday morning and it needed a hairdryer to get open.

My breaks at these times are escaping into good books at night when I don't have energy to work. Good luck with the deadline.

Theresa Milstein said...

Coffee in the morning, maybe a glass of wine at night, and an entertaining/mindless TV show to finish the day. If I can still try to get a decent amount of sleep each night, I can usually keep going.

You're more than halfway through February. Hang in there!

Liz Fichera said...

Chocolate. Massive amounts of chocolate. It's a sickness.

Jessica Nelson said...

Yup, I'm with Liz.

Just be careful and don't explode. I think that would be uglier than these little ribbons of time you've cut up. *hugs*

Jonathon Arntson said...

Procrastinate.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Work out or read. But usually I don't work out for as long as usual (maybe only 30 mins). And I have to hope the book I'm reading isn't one those 'just one more chapter books' that end up sucking up more of my time. :)

Liza said...

Take a quick walk.

kellyhashway said...

Read or go for a run--sometimes at the same time! I know you're probably thinking how is a run going to destress me and help me relax, but it seriously works. It forces your muscles to relax, especially your shoulders where I hold all my tension. Plus, I feel energized and ready to tackle anything afterwards.

Good luck, Elana. You'll get through it.

Magan said...

I cry...okay ignore that I'm a hormonal pregnant woman. But when I did my own NaNoReMo, I really scheduled myself. At the time my MS was 52K with 30 chapters, so I made sure that I did atleast two chapters a night. It gave me time to do other things, and I knew that I had to make little deadlines at the end of each day.

Michelle McLean said...

I read. I just carry the book around with me everywhere and read every chance I get....like at the stove browning hamburger, or tossing my kids in the shower and then sitting in the hallway for 5 minutes, or if I need to run errands and my husband is going with me - I let him drive and read on our way there :D I've gotten very good at squeezing out a few minutes of reading no matter what I'm doing :D

Kelly Bryson said...

Like Michelle above, I read. Nothing makes me want to write more than reading an amazing book.

Angela Felsted said...

I eat. Not a good habit.

Jade said...

I can relate to not feeling like you work too well under pressure. I like to set a schedule for my work and be consistent, but too much structure reduces the quality of my work.

When I don't have a lot of time and want to de-stress, I usually make myself a cup of green or white tea and listen to very relaxing and soft music. Other times I just keep checking my email and other unproductive things. :-)

Hope you get to prepare some time to relax this month!

lynnrush said...

Sometimes I'll quick clean my office. Just a little dusting and I feel like I'm ready to start anew.

Strange, but it works.

if I can take a longer break, I'll head out for a run or bike ride.

For another short break, I'll blast my favorite song on the stereo until my walls are vibrating with bass. Just one song, though. Then I'm rejuvenated. ;)

Hang in there. You'll et all your work done. I just know it.

Hannah Kincade said...

Let's be honest here...I eat donuts and watch TV. I could say I get massages or take a long bath or read but the truth is sit on my ass and eat donuts. There I said it.

Megan said...

I'm a big fan of a steaming hot shower followed by an at-home face mask. It takes up very little time but helps me clear my mind. Plus I get to pretend I'm having a spa day. Of course, I'm also a girly-girl...

Jessie Harrell said...

google most luxurious beach resorts and dream about all the fabulous places I'd like to travel if my book ever becomes a best seller. hey, dreaming never hurt anyone...

Emily White said...

Honestly, I do about a half hour of Wii fit. Some of those games are sooo much fun and it's actually exercise. It definitely helps to get my mind off some of the more stressful things.

Tracey Neithercott said...

Read or watch TV or a movie. Under normal circumstances I'd suggest buying a boxed set of Lost, but in your case that would just leave you with even less time than you have.

Ishta Mercurio said...

I make myself a coffee, get a cookie (shortbread does the trick) to dunk in it, and sit down for fifteen minutes to read a magazine/watch TV/stare out the window/watch my kids play/play a card game with my kids.

And drinking the coffee isn't as important as the making of it - the time to measure out the grounds, boil the kettle, let it percolate, stir in the sugar. It slows things down and gives me space to breathe.

Tina Lynn said...

You can so do this. I have faith.

Hmmm...ten minute vacations...

I like turning up my iPod and dancing alone in my livingroom. Works wonders.

Jennifer Hoffine said...

I in the "eat" camp, unfortunately...And my audiobooks save my sanity. Both of those things I can do while getting other "have to" stuff done.

Lois D. Brown said...

I sit in a massage chair and rub lotion on my feet. Or, I take an extra long shower. good luck girl.

Candyland said...

Dude, we blogged about the same thing today. Maybe we can create more time in the day out of nowhere. Let's work on that.

Heather said...

I would love to say I read but when I'm really stressed the words on the page don't make any sense or I start yelling at the characters to get it together so I can be done with it already! I usually watch a really intense tv show/movie and be grateful I don't have their life.

Miriam S. Forster said...

Overworked months are no fun! I hope you find something restful.

I was frying last night from all the things I've got to do in the next month. (Write! Revise! Start packing!)

So I made myself some pasta and watched the Cosby Show on Netflix instant play. I wasn't expecting it to work, but it did!

Meredith said...

I relaxed yesterday by taking ten minute breaks every hour or so to watch another segment of The Bachelor until I had completed the whole episode. Watching those crazy women never fails to make me relax!

gideon 86 said...

I agree with you Liz .... BREAK OUT THE CHOCOLATE!



Michael

Michelle Merrill said...

Candy and a hot bath. A quick hot bath. Long enough to clear my mind and give me a break before I dive back into everything.

Shari said...

Eat and play mindless computer games.

Stasia said...

Go outside. If you're like me (a mole-person who lives at her computer in semi-darkness), this can be scary. But it is actually very refreshing. Even if it's rainy or snowy. Go out for ten minutes without your phone. Walk up the road. Look at the sky. If possible, bring a dog. Good luck with your intense month!

Nicole Zoltack said...

Read. I use reading as a reward. Write or edit this chapter and you can read a chapter. It's awesome because I get to kill two birds with one stone.

Caroline Starr Rose said...

Run.

Susan R. Mills said...

A nice hot bath usually does the trick for me.

Lindsay said...

I listen to some music, break out the chocolate, or have happy non-thoughts. I just stare into space and clear my mind. ;)

Donea Lee said...

I take a drive at night - somewhere as out of the way as possible, but still close to home - alone, I-tunes/Pandora blaring from the speakers and sing along as loud as possible! :)

L.T. Elliot said...

Netflix. Netflix is my secret lover. I sneak away from life to have a stolen rendezvous and we totally get it on. ;P

You can do it, Elana! Work hard and then play harder!

kathrynjankowski said...

I used to take quick bike rides, but there are too many unleashed dogs in my neighborhood. So I bought a trainer (it makes your bike stationery) and now I can just pop out to the garage. Amazing what comes to mind as you pedal and it's great exercise you can do anytime, day or night. ;-)

Heather said...

When I don't have a lot of time I jump on Twitter. The great peeps there always make me feel better!

Elizabeth Mueller said...

OF course watching The Bachelor counts! I watch a movie to get away from it all. Really. I don't have to do the thinking. XD

I have an award for ya!

Have a great day, Elana. :)

LTM said...

try to take a quick jog around the neighborhood. It has the added benefit of adjusting your outlook... That or eating chocolate cake. Also improves mood. (But Option 1 is better on the wasitline... ;o) Hang in there~ <3

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I pour myself an ice-cold Pepsi, sit down, and savor every single carbonated drop. :-)

Melissa said...

I'm basically in the same boat as you right now. Too much stuff going on! Too much to do! If I'm going to be honest, how I deal is I have mini melt-downs, cry a little to release tension and then pick myself back up and get my crap done.

My ten minute breaks generally relate to me staring off into the distance and spending some time with my characters before slapping the door shut on them because I have no time to write. I also spend my breaks checking blogs - Or I wouldn't do that either!

Sara B. Larson said...

I make myself fit in workouts, because I find myself getting overwhelmed and grouchy if I don't exercise enough. Also, I eat desserts when I'm really, truly stressed out. In theory, the exercising counteracts it. Not so much when I'm preggo apparently. Grr... Hope you make it! ;)

Henya said...

You mean I'm not the only one who feels this way? What I do is work out, eat a little, phone a good friend, read emails..... (Anything but write, sometimes)

Krispy said...

I veg out. So TV is probably something. Maybe I'll take a walk in my backyard. Or I'll eat some ice cream. Ditto the bath/shower suggestion!

Good luck and don't over-extend yourself too much! :)

Holly Ruggiero said...

Unless there is a blizzard I take a walk around the block.

Janet Johnson said...

A quick race with Mario helps sometimes. Books suck me in and distract me, so they're out for sure when I've got deadlines.

Best of luck!

nutschell said...

I watch an episode of one of my favorite TV shows.
By the way, beautiful folks, check out my first ever blog contest. I'm giving away some awesome character creation tools: http://www.thewritingnut.com/contest/characters-count-contest/

Nicole L Rivera said...

Make a cup of tea with honey and a dash of cinnamon. Sit in silence or turn on the tube and sip until it's gone. When it is, get back to work. I find the TV tends to distract the anxiety fairy in my brain and quiets the panic. Worse comes to worse you enjoy a cup of tea, have an extra jolt of caffeine, and keep on keeping on.

ChristaCarol said...

Sometimes I have to unplug, just veg out and watch something or listen to music in a zen-like state, even if it's ten minutes, just to forget everything wanting to cause me an anxiety attack and take some deep breaths. Then, form a plan on how to retackle it all and get back to it. Hang in there, lady!

ali said...

Thanks for the shout out E!

Mini-vacays, ali-style:
chocolate
showers
naps
reading
singing goofy opera (or whatever) in my goofiest voice (it doesn't work otherwise)
tickle-fights (just pick them with anyone, anywhere, see what kind of fun THAT is!)
sex (ahem, preferably NOT with anyone, anywhere)
mindless TV
a movie (AT the movie theater)

Sorry for the lemon-impersonation (ie, life squeezing Elana for every ounce of juice she's got). I'm rooting for you!

Trisha Wolfe said...

My CP partner sent me the link to Ninja it up last night! Love that site, and the lil ninja's are so cute =) February is a stressful month. I'm just taking it one day at a time. Last year at this time, I was doing crazy word count days, like 10k a day! But with reviewing, editing, and submitting... don't forget the fam--there's just not enough time. So when I get 1k down in new WIP I jump for joy, and take it as a step closer instead of being discouraged I'm not doing more. Great post!

Colene Murphy said...

TV or a bath and a book are my go to relaxer for when I don't have a lot of time to relax. Just a little while with either can really help!

Stephsco said...

I would suggest a 10 or 15 minute mini-workout from a yoga DVD. It can really help to get up and move around and stretch a bit.

Personally, I've been plowing through the entire Gilmore Girls series, which I never expected to like, so one episode a day is kind of nice and I don't have to think too hard.

Sometimes I unwind by playing multi-player Halo. I'm sure the players I'm against have a bedtime on a schoolnight, but sometimes you just can't beat a sticky grenade blitz. Just sayin!

Safari Poet said...

MUSIC. I put on a pair of headphones (the ones that cover your ears completely so you can't hear any outer noise), lie back and listen. Genres up to you.

Thank you for commenting on my blog. I never expected that.

Matthew Rush said...

I love Ali! She rules.

Lynda Young said...

I can eat chocolate and work at the same time ;)

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

Oh man, I feel your pain. Been there for the last month, wondering if there's light at the end of the tunnel. Nothing like a book deadline to make you grateful and crazy at the same time.

At least I'm not alone. More chocolate helps. ;)

Kaylee Baldwin said...

Yay! Another Bachelor watcher. It so totally counts, because no matter how booked you are, your life isn't so bad that you are one of like sixteen women chasing after the same (admitedly hunky) guy. And the drama is just fodder for character studies, right?

ANWA conference was great this weekend, btw. My carload of gals voted your presentation as our favorite.

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