My kids are off from school for spring break & my husband was away at a conference this past weekend. That left me NO time to get work done at my desk but plenty of time to do everything else – sometimes work-related & sometimes not. It gave me disconnected time to think about where I want to go professionally over the next year and if I'm on track. (Analysis: NO. I need to make some adjustments.)

Now is a great time of year to 'clear the cobwebs' from your brain & workspace to refocus on your business and clients. Being offline helps a lot in my opinion….

1. CLEAN – Spring always brings thoughts of purging out my home and office(s). I love nothing more than to throw open the windows, turn up the stereo and grab a garbage can. While I didn't get to clean out as much as I'd like, I did work on plans for a new work space and studio for myself. I don't work well in mess, but tend to get messy when I'm swamped with work. (As I type the only space left open on my desk is where my hands go for the keyboard!!) Physical clutter makes it difficult for me to mentally focus.

Take some time to figure out the environment you work best in and strive to make it a reality. Your space is a tool. Clean out bookcases, get a new chair, clean up your computer desktop, purge old papers, organize, downsize.

2. Doodle on Paper – I did some strategic work on paper (yes, an actual notebook full of dead trees & an ink pen) for a client. Not being in front of a computer cleared my head and let me think more big picture / long term. There is something about being ON a computer that has some sense of immediacy. I wound up thinking about a lot of things I doubt I would have come up with if I had just started typing on the computer to take notes. For me the process of verbally doodling works as a one-woman think-tank and generates a lot more spinoff ideas.

I find I never have paper or pens nearby when I need it. I doodle (and take notes) constantly while on the phone, giving this process a proper home in a Moleskine with a gorgeous ink pen works for me. Maybe Post-It notes and a mechanical pencil work for you. Maybe the computer is best. Figure it out.

3. Read Because You Want To – I started reading A Dance with Dragons (the most recent book in Game of Thrones). I haven't picked up a book to read for pleasure / fun in over a year. As much as I need the 'down-time' it feels wasteful and frivolous to not be working 16 hours a day. Day / week / month after month of living in the same rabbit hole of work makes it hard to see things from a different angle.

4. Old School Social Media – Pick up the phone or write a hand written note. Find an old contact and get in touch with them 'just because'. Call them and ask how they are doing, see what's new in their life/business. Do this a few times a week. Strengthen your network. Reconnect with people. Pick some that have nothing to do with your line of work & see what happens.

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