I remind my students and myself the importance of stepping away from work. I tend to keep pressing on into writing and editing, and I can feel the slog in my mind after a few hours.
It happens the same way evening falls: The light dims. You aren’t quite as sharp; you aren’t quite as focused. You end up making decisions and mistakes that could cost you hours to fix. It’s time for a break.
Stepping away for a while–30 minutes to an hour–for relaxation, snacks, and a brisk walk recharges the mind. It’s not a luxury or a treat; it’s really part of the work. It might be the most important part of the work, especially as the hours of the afternoon drag on.
You come back to the work, and it feels fresh and new. My relaxation? Lavender anything (bath, candle, just sitting there near lavender). My snacks? Olives and beets. My walk? All along the acorns and bright red leaves.