I've been off the grid for nearly 3 weeks.
My normal routine, which I like a lot, has been disrupted. I haven't posted a journal entry, balanced the books, cleaned the studio, answered the bulk of my email, or photographed anything purely for fun.
Why? Because I've had big projects to address. They were things that meant a lot to me. I finished my work on the Cuba movie (it should be out soon), recorded an entirely new training titled "Dropbox for Photographers," wrote an eBook on photographing Cuba, lead a 3-day workshop in the Eastern Sierra, and completed a big photography project for my favorite commercial client.
One of the things that I learned when I first started writing books was this: I had to be willing to put my normal life on hold if I were to accomplish big things. I couldn't write a book and continue to work 10 hours a day on daily stuff. Something had to give.
It's difficult for me to stray from routine. I find it hard to look out the window and see the garden overgrown. But those are the tasks that turn authors into procrastinators. And that's the reason why most writers don't finish books.
In order to move forward, you must break routine.
Today is my first day back. I feel great. I've cleaned up the garden, organized my office, made a haircut appointment, paid the bills, and have now returned to the journal.
My joy stems not only from being back in the daily groove, but because I know that I've accomplished things. I've moved the ball forward.
People ask me how I get so much done. The answer is this: You have to be willing to let go of what's comfortable, at least for a while.