Just like athletes need to train physically, copywriters train mentally. Being someone who enjoys both physical and mental workouts, I discovered a parallel between my physical and mental exercise regimens.
What My Garmin Hack Taught Me About Copywriting
Even though I don’t run competitively, I still have a Garmin watch to track my distance, pace, heart rate, and steps. My Garmin watch has a daily goal, which I’ve become very interested in lately. I was obsessed with trying to hit my step goal, which starts at the standard 10,000 but then adjusts dynamically each day based on your previous activity.
Generally, it goes up when you’re more active and down when you consistently don’t meet your step goal. The problem is that if you’re like me, each day you strive to do more and more. Eventually, it catches up with you.
Burnt out from competing against my Garmin, I decided to turn off my alerts for a few days. I didn’t want to know that I wasn’t beating my goal. Instead, I took a step back and focused on clearing my head.
Stepping Back In
When I finally turned the alerts back on, I didn’t even check the new step goal. Instead, I just focused on my afternoon stroll. It was only 2 PM when my watch started buzzing. I hit my goal.
It was only 5,000 steps but at that moment it felt just as great as when I hit my usual 15,000. Why? Because I took a break. I let myself rest and didn’t think about my progress. When I returned to my routine, it was with new vigor and satisfaction.
Now, I force myself to take this step back every couple of weeks. I turn off my Garmin alerts and let my step goal drop. I call it my ‘Garmin hack’. But, I quickly realized this wasn’t just a hack for exercise.
As a freelance copywriter, I spend days documenting operating procedures, creating guides, and telling stories supported by data. I consider writing a sport. Each time I sit down and open my laptop, I’m getting ready to compete against myself. Whether it’s aiming for a higher word count, finishing a difficult book chapter, or wrapping up an article series, I go into my writing sessions with a goal.
While I love working on my creative pieces, I’ve been spending a lot of time on technical writing and SEO recently.
I didn’t know how burnt out I was until I hit a major writer’s block. After a tough week of work, I began to obsess about my daily word count, page count, article count, etc. Staring at the blank computer screen, I felt defeated if I didn’t do more than the day prior.
That’s when I realized that I needed to implement my ‘Garmin hack’ for writing, and here’s how. I gave myself a no-writing day. I didn’t open my current book in progress or my pending articles - instead, I spent the day working on something completely different. I forced myself to forget about the number of words I should have written or the chapter I could have finished. Just for a day.
That day I wrote 0 words, but I probably made the most progress. Because I didn’t write, my mind got a much-needed break,k and just like when I used my ‘Garmin hack’ for walking, I came back to my project refreshed and ready to go.
I finished all my writing assignments by the end of the week, and I credit that to taking a step back. Now, I set aside a day each week for no writing goals. During that time, I recharge and reset my baseline - it works.
Find a Balanced Writer
At Hire a Writer, our team does more than just write. We know how to take a step back from a project and return with a fresh mind. It’s what keeps us productive and prevents our writing from becoming stale. We use the ‘Garmin hack’.