I was interviewing someone for a story today who is running a local online publication in a relatively small town. His “new economy” job in a very traditional community was the angle, so I was asking him about the benefits of working from home and setting his own schedule. Of course, I could have answered this questions myself, but we weren’t interviewing me about my new economy job.
“The best thing is,” he said, “is that while sometimes I put in long days, sometimes I put in short ones. I mean seriously, if I’m still working after 1:30 on Friday, something has gone wrong.
“It’s so great to just close my computer and say, ‘I’m done.'”
Wow, yeah, we were not interviewing me. I laughed with him about how awesome that aspect of our jobs was and how jealous everyone else must be of us, all while thinking, “He stops working at 1:30 on Friday? Doesn’t he know there’s more to do? Doesn’t he know the Internet still works on the weekend?”
I have a great habit of making to-do lists that will take up 150% of my allotted working time for the day. And then the dogs have to go out and then my body requires I feed it and other annoying things like that occur. And then it’s 9:30 and I have three more things on my list. The worst thing about this is that I have a second list, my “me things” list, that I only get to once the work-y things are done. This includes doing stuff for our wedding, blogging, working on my book proposal, etc. Do you know how many times I’ve set aside time in the last ten days to work on my proposal? Six. Guess how many times I got to it. Right. None.
So tonight at 9:30 I was about to venture into the last three items on my list, and then I stopped. I added up my billable hours for the day. I was over my quota. I looked again at those last three things on my list. And then I thought about what our wedding will be like if I never manage to finish setting up our registry or order the bridesmaids dresses. It’s also worth noting that if I never finish my book proposal, I will be sad pretty much forever.
So I took a cue from my very smart friend with the awesome working-from-home job that isn’t all that different from mine. I closed out my Google Docs billing sheet and said, “I’m done.”
And now I’m going to go install Quickbooks for Mac on my computer. Also on my “me things” list. Totally geeked about it. (Leave me alone.)