I am taking a lunch break, and decided to write about some important revelations I had this morning.
I have to begin with a dull story. Now, this is my diary, I am not under contract to be scintillating, and I should perhaps not feel that I have to be apologetic for being boring. However, consider the case of poor King Louis, who wrote something dull in his diary one day and is now famous for it, and scorned perhaps more for that than for all the really bad things he did. or at least more frequently criticized for it. In case you were asleep when they taught that in school, I refer to his entry on the day that the Bastille fell: “Rien,” which means “nothing.” He had been hunting, and is thought to have referred specifically to what he caught, but still. It is a lesson to us all.
So, here’s what happened. Yesterday, I started work at 6:00 as usual, took 30 minutes for exercise, and then went up to the store where I worked till 5:00, completing everything I needed to do there so that I am working at home today. I raced home in order to get dinner cooked in time to get to handbell practice, noticing that I was practically out of gas but discovering when I got to the gas station that I had left my billfold at home. I got home later even than I had anticipated, rushed madly around and gave the family a distinctly inferior meal, cadged a ride from a driver with gas, and skidded into practice at the last possible moment. I stayed on through choir practice, got home and spent some time with the family, got up at 5:30 and got right back to work at 6:00.
Now one of the things on my list yesterday was to do a flyer for tomorrow’s conference, but it turned out that I needed to do it on the Mac at home. This machine is still not hooked up to the internet because I have still not figured out how to hook up the router, so it is essentially deaf and I cannot send documents back and forth with it. So I did the flyer on it this morning, but the company logo is not on this machine, and I cannot send it from the other machine, and therefore had to do all sorts of extra stuff in order to deal with that. At last I had a master, and I drove nervously to the gas station and thence to the copy shop — where I discovered that, while I had remembered my billfold, I had forgotten the master, and had to drive home for it.
That was the boring story. The point is that I am working so much, and hurrying so much, that I am making stupid errors and failing to do basic maintenance things. There are negative consequences for both my efficiency at work and for my family, and if I keep it up I am going to feel stressed and overworked.
There is no reason for this. When I go to work at a separate location, I clean up my office and pack and unpack for workshops during my paid work time. I figure out computer connection issues during my paid work time. I prepare and clean up lunch during my paid work time. Those tasks do not suddenly become housework just because I am working from home.
Nor have I suddenly become self-employed. Nor has my work become way more urgent than it was before. When I was at the store every day, I knew that there was no way I could finish all the available work before closing time, and I just locked the door and came home anyway, secure in the knowledge that the work would wait for me to get back to it the next day. I was right.
I am going to set reasonable working hours and factor in time for cleaning up at the end of the day. I am going to continue starting early, because there are jobs that need to be done early, but I am also going to take time out for the gym and lunch, and generally aim for a mere 40 hours a week.
Yes, I am.