I started a business. It made me want to drink copious quantities, smoke myself into oblivion and hit my head against a brick wall. Instead I wrote a blog.
Site Launch Day: 80
User Count: 123
Going right: Excellent hashing out of the consultancy module.
Going wrong: There are no donuts in this house. WHY NOT???
Comment: Absolutely reasonable craving for woman four months pregnant.
No one else values your time. Only you know how much time you have and how much time you need. And even if you say you just have five minutes, the other person's needs will be prioritized by them, over yours...if they need 10 minutes, they will try to take 10 minutes. And worst of all, when you work at home - you don't value your time either...
"You'll be at home today won't you?" says my boyfriend. "Someone is coming to pick up the changing table at four."
"Oh I'll just pop that to the dry cleaners down the road."
Yes indeedy. A donut in the gob is worth two in the hand. And at least 10 minutes of valuable work time. But beware my readers... the donut is in fact...one of the worst time management and procrastination demons to battle when you first branch off by yourself. It's bad enough in the office, but when the kettle and aforementioned snack is just begging you to take a weeny tea break, or even worse a 30 minute break to go and buy one from Tesco, working in a home office is very difficult.
But take away the expectation of actually WORKING during work hours and this problem goes away. Yes, you can have your donut and eat it.
A friend of mine just took redundancy to start her new life as a yoga teacher and her status on facebook yesterday read -
Never thought I'd say this but I'm craving a routine. Life - you're a big, disorganised mess at the moment, sort yourself out will you!
But life is 'messy'. People who try to put routines around it are not embracing the mess and developing skills to cope with it and react to it. They are running away from the reality of what life is - trying to impose a structure on something that is beautifully organic. And then they get stressed because they cannot force life into the boxes that they THEMSELVES have created.
Boxes kill more people than donuts. My goals have changed since I started running my own business.... the 8 hours of work a day ethic holds far less value for me now. It's a common benchmark and a very reasonable one built - again by us - on the fairness principle of eight hours 'work', eight hours 'play' and eight hours sleep.
Most of us find it difficult to be satisfied with our performance if we have not put in our eight hours, in a contiguous stretch of time...because we are trained to think like that! But for a while now, I have tried to work towards an achievement in task-based slots. If I work eight hours all at once, it means I haven't been able to anything else with that time and personally I find that more of a failure.
If I have spent three hours in meetings, writing a blog post and answering mail, an hour or two playing with my baby girl and a couple of hours on household organisation or admin, I find that a very useful way to spend my day. If I do a couple of hours work in the evening/early morning as well, which may include catching up with the game-testers and a few hours on the weekends writing specifications, I've got as much done as most of my office based counterparts in a week, had more fun, more donuts and less stress doing it. Now am off to Tesco.
If you want a peek at the business that's driving me insane you can click here.
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