Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Monday, November 16, 2009

Setting up business hours

Some time ago, I read this article about how to maintain your sanity while working from home. One of the tips the author gave was to set business hours and stick with them. Don't work after you "close" for the day. By letting your work rule over your daily, personal life, you'll likely start experiencing stress, loss of concentration and burnout. In other words, don't work 24/7!

I had to reflect on this piece of advice over the weekend. Lately, my muse has been supercharged. I have been writing and editing like the wind! Some of that writing and editing has been focused on the paying work I have going on. (My NaNo novel has, alas, fallen by the wayside.) But it was like I wasn't doing anything else. Just writing. Editing. Not reading books, watching a favorite TV show, spending time with my children or just relaxing. Business hours were unknown to me; I spent all day hard at work, writing.

And I didn't like it. You know? I was losing that other part of myself that is NOT a writer/editor. I was losing ME. Where did Dawn go? I was lost in writing and editing land. Not able to do much else EXCEPT write and edit.

So, this week, I have set up a challenge for myself. I am going to set up business hours for the writing and editing thing. After 5 p.m., all that will STOP and I will pick it up again the next day.

Of course, if I feel so inclined to write something that is NOT part of the paying work -- a poem, story idea, article or notes -- then I'll write them. That's fine. But everything else will be reserved for the business hours.

I just want to have my life back. Yes, I DO love writing. And I love to edit, too. But...I need to be present for other things, as well. Especially for my children. They won't stay young forever. And I really miss doing OTHER Internet stuff. So I want to get back to that. And I'm hoping to have some other things going on in my personal life in the near future, as well. I need to make room for that.

Here's hoping I will be able to meet that challenge and keep the habit of maintaining business hours. It will be good for me, and good for my muse, too.

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  • At 3:17 PM , Blogger Lillie Ammann said...

    Good luck with your schedule, Dawn.

    I prefer to work nights instead of days. My husband keeps odd hours, also, and since we have no children at home, it works for us.

    Sunday is the time I won't work for clients. I'm pretty accommodating any other time, but I'm usually firm about not working on Sundays (though I've done that as well on rare occasions).

    With small children, it's important to spend plenty of time with them.

  • At 6:05 AM , Blogger Dawn Wilson said...

    Thanks, Lillie. And I agree. That's one of the reasons why I work at home and why I want to have these work hours in place. I ended up working 5 minutes past 5 yesterday, but I got a lot done and it was just a huge pressure off of my shoulders to be able to enjoy my time with my children and just be there in the moment with them. And for the first time in a long time, I got to watch a movie last night. Yay! I'm glad I made this decision. It really helps put everything in perspective. I'm glad you have a schedule that works for you. The best work hours are different for everyone. I've tried saving the work until nighttime when the kids were asleep, but with a baby that wakes up early, it's not doable. My husband works the night shift, so he sleeps most of the day. Daytime hours are better for me, anyway. That's when my muse is supercharged! :) I know what you mean about not working on Sundays. And how sometimes, when absolutely necessary, it's important to be there for the clients, too, but only in emergencies.

  • At 9:05 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

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  • At 5:53 PM , Blogger rochellesexy said...

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