Monday, September 19, 2011

It doesn't all have to be done today! (Or even tomorrow...)

Last week I was busy. Crazy busy. Nod off in front of the computer at the end of the day busy. And I must say, I got a lot done! But I’m also glad that things have calmed down this week.

Since becoming a freelancer, I’ve noticed something: when I’m super busy, my work takes over my home life. Before, when I went to an office, I had busy days, and even some long days…but when I got home, that was it. Work was done.

Not any more. When you work from home, sometimes there is no “off” switch.

Luckily there are some things that I can let slide when I get extremely busy. And there are a few things I can’t.

Here are four things I can put off when life gets hectic.

-Selected housework. I can’t just drop all housework, because I still have to live and work here. But vacuuming, dusting, and making beds? They can wait.

-Cooking. I love to cook, it’s one of my favorite things in life. But if I’m busy, meal planning, shopping, ingredient prep, and cooking are time-vampires. As long as I have a carton of eggs and a bunch of bananas in the fridge, I’m not going to starve.

-Reading/writing for fun. This one kills me to give up, but these enjoyable pastimes become time-wasters when I’m busy. That means no extra personal blogging, rambling emails to friends, or reading novels or magazines.

-Sleep. Well, I can’t cut sleep out entirely. But if it’s a choice between getting a project done on time or disappointing a client, well, I’ll give up a couple of hours a night. Besides, I work from home - when it slows down again, I can take a nap!

And here are four things I can never let slide. Ever.

-Selected housework. Laundry - gotta have clean clothes. The alternative is just unbearable. And running the dishwasher from time to time, as well as a weekly trip to the grocery store for the basics (like eggs and bananas).

-Email. Like everyone else, I get a ton of email. I found out the hard way that it must be dealt with every day, like clockwork, or my electronic inbox overflows and it becomes too much to handle. I set aside 3 times a day that I tackle new items in my inbox, and it only takes a few minutes each time. The rest of the day I try to ignore it (unless I’m expecting something important).

-Family time. Again, a few minutes here and there accomplishes a lot. Setting aside the computer for 15 minutes or so does wonders for my husband’s and cats’ moods, and mine, too.

-Exercise. I’m not talking about training for an Olympic event here. But I need a minimum of 30 minutes, 3 days a week of aerobic activity to feel human. It may mean giving up a little sleep, but I’m not giving up my morning run.

What are the things you have to keep up with, even when you’re busy? What can you avoid? Share in the comments section below.

No comments: