What day is it?
Easter's coming. I think. Apart from the buns I can't tell. I work six days every week; seven if I can get away with it. This makes each day pretty much like the next.
Weekends mean rising at seven instead of six. Public holidays mean my wife's home. Christmas means less traffic. Vacations come every few years and barely break my concentration.
Is it like this for you?
All work & no play
I'm writing this on a Saturday. As many of my clients enjoy their weekend, I can work without being bothered by work.
The sun is bright and the dogs are hopeful. But I'm hunched over my keyboard with a dull pain in my chest.
'Lunch', as usual, was a five-minute wolf.
I'm not unhappy. It took many years of intense effort to build my successful, home-based business. I'm very pleased and grateful. Yet I'm also rather cocooned here at Empire House.
No Friday drinks, no retirement dinners, no family picnics and no Christmas parties.
Though content in my company, I do feel a lack of community and structure.
A few months prior to my last vacation, I alerted my clients by email. This brought forward some projects, but I still took a big revenue hit.
I felt I'd paid for the trip twice: the opportunity cost mirrored the actual cost.
And because the break was my first for three years, it took me half the time to unwind enough to relax.
Even then, I still checked my emails.
For the vacation before that (almost last century) I handed the Empire to a brilliant, trusted colleague who ran it flawlessly.
So well in fact, that when I returned, some clients stated a preference for dealing with him!
Though I fully enjoy the benefits of running my own show, I know my work/life balance is out of whack. I'm unfit, overweight and highly strung.
I find it almost impossible to walk past my PC without checking my 'world'. My wife is trying to save me with swing dancing lessons and PC-free days.
But it's a struggle.
I do try. Yesterday I was told to expect a call about a 4000-page proofreading job (an intensely interesting and lucrative opportunity).
I waited several hours, then did the swim I promised I'd do.
The prospect called twice while I was in the water but didn't leave a message.
Now the job's going to a competitor.
In light of all this, I'm very keen to know how YOU handle time out and time off.
Paul Hassing, Founder & Senior Writer, The Feisty Empire.
- The Feisty Empire
Paul Hassing's high-end blogging, copywriting, editing and proofreading services website.