My #1 strategy to overcome ‘The Hiatus Flu’

If you caught last week’s newsletter, then you already know I’m managing a mild case of “The Hiatus Flu,” that bizarre feeling when you finally take your foot of the gas after finishing a huge project and re-enter this unusual, scary, and mysterious place called “reality.” I’ve caught up on a lot of sleep, a good deal of TV (just caught up on Barry season 3!), cleaned up around the house, and responded to some overdue emails (with A LOT more to go).

When you do intense creative work it’s very common to put on a set of blinders, go into “tunnel vision mode,” and focus exclusively on the main project at hand until it’s delivered. The outside world literally disappears.

It’s a wild ride and the creative rush we’re all chasing!

But it also comes at a cost.

My #1 strategy to overcome the hiatus flu is so simple it almost seems stupid.

→ I plan for it.

That’s it.

That’s my whole strategy.

I plan & prioritize however much time on my calendar is required (in this case I blocked out two whole weeks) when I know I won’t be at my best because I’m recovering from a big project. I protect that time on my calendar no different than the project itself. During that recovery period I’m just as unavailable as when I’m in the trenches. This allows me to mentally & physically recover and choose activities that are in alignment with my energy levels.

In the past I would try and muscle through this period and still get work done (or even worse jump right into another big project). But that wasn’t providing anyone value because while those I was working with were fresh & energized at the beginning of their project, I was walking in burned out on day 1.

Be well.
Zack Arnold
Creator, Optimize Yourself

Zack Arnold (ACE) is an award-winning Hollywood film editor & producer (Cobra Kai, Empire, Burn Notice, Unsolved, Glee), a documentary director, father of 2, an American Ninja Warrior, and the creator of Optimize Yourself. He believes we all deserve to love what we do for a living...but not at the expense of our health, our relationships, or our sanity. He provides the education, motivation, and inspiration to help ambitious creative professionals DO better and BE better. “Doing” better means learning how to more effectively manage your time and creative energy so you can produce higher quality work in less time. “Being” better means doing all of the above while still prioritizing the most important people and passions in your life…all without burning out in the process. Click to download Zack’s “Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Creativity (And Avoiding Burnout).”