These days things are really busy over here. Aside from neglecting this blog (partially Twitter’s fault), it’s a good busy. Too much work in a recession is a nice problem to have. I’ve been working early mornings and late nights to find quiet times when I can concentrate and keep up with the load.
So now it’s a four day long weekend. My spouse has the time off, my stepson is in town, and it’s going to be really hard to get stuff done. For a split second I resented the weekend as interference with work, and that’s when one of my alarm bells went off.
Let me back up for a moment. I’ve always been a little ahead of the curve. I started my first home based business shortly after university, in 1981. Back then it was radical, now it’s an established practice. There are many advantages to running a business from home, like my ten second commute to work. But there are disadvantages too, and one of them is that same ten second commute. Over the years I’ve learned to identify destructive thought patterns and to change course before doing much damage. “I wish everyone else was at work” is high on that list.
Over the past three decades, I’ve had times when I was so involved with my work that my friends forgot I existed. I did a lot of exciting work, but for the most part the results of my efforts have long since disappeared. Meanwhile most of my friends are still around. More poignantly, some of them are no longer around. The hard lesson is that the time I spent on work is time I didn’t spend with them, and now there’s no way to address the imbalance.
So if you find yourself resenting the long weekend, take a step back and get a new perspective. Most of us are working hard to bring benefits to our immediate families. Don’t focus on that to the point where you deprive them of what they want and need most… your full attention.
In some ways it takes even more discipline to plan work and personal time from home than when I was commuting to a workplace.
Also the type of work matters as well. Small repetitive production type work is a breeze at a home office during the holidays. Longer analytic prose, like analyzing a report or writing a blog, is much more difficult to do (for me) during the holidays.
So plan for the holiday family time (just like everyone at an office at 4:50pm on a Friday night does) and put that holiday time to good use doing smaller no-brainer tasks. Leaving the good stuff to look forward to *after* the holidays.
So agreed. I’ve found that I have to set up a proper home office to make that separation between work-time and non work-time more defined.
If I work in the living room, or at the dining room table, it is just too easy to get distracted. But in my office I can close the door and it’s *just* work stuff.
If you have a physical separation between the two, I find it easier to keep the mental separation.