15 October 2013

Work flexibility is not always a good thing. Mostly, but not always.

This morning I was talking to a fellow freelance writer I know who told me that she took Columbus Day off. She closed her office on Monday and didn't work. She said she just needed some time away from the screen.

One of the great things about being a freelancer is the ability to work whenever, wherever you want (or need) to. You can work on the road, in the middle of the night, early in the morning, weekends, whatever you need to do to make it happen.

I love the flexibility because I have two munchkins at home. The flexibility I have means I can work when they're gone or sleeping, and when they're awake and with me, my time and energy is devoted to them. It's wonderful.

However, there is a flip side. (There always is, isn't there?) When the kids are gone, it can be hard to tear myself away from work for a break. I often eat lunch at my desk, work late into the night, and work through weekends when I don't have the munchkins. It can be very productive, but I know that it's also important to take breaks once in a while, even when I don't have Puck and Tink around.

Everybody needs time away from work. We need to focus our brains on other things and recharge before jumping back into work.

I've been working hard lately. I've had a lot of projects going on (a lot of them with close deadlines), so it's been hard for me to justify taking real time off. Sure, I'm not actually working when I have the kids, but as soon as they go to bed, I'm trying to move projects forward and gets stuff done so that I don't have to when they wake up the next morning. It's been good because I've gotten a lot done. But I know I need to make sure I take time for myself, too. I need to step away from work when I can and do other things. Or, better yet, nothing at all.

I'm planning on taking a little time off at the end of November to go up north and visit family and friends. It will be a much-needed trip, and a good chance for me to take a real break from writing and marketing and projects and paperwork to just spend time with family. I'm really looking forward to it, actually. A vacation.

It will be wonderful.

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