Confession #101

confession

Anonymous submission via form (and it is apparently in the air today with clients).

Nothing pisses me off more than, “I need you to do this (insert vague project description here). I’ll show you how.”

Later… “I don’t have the time to show you how I want or need it done, so I just need you to do it.”

-completes project and sends it-

Client complains, “This isn’t what I wanted! Read my mind and figure it out because I want something very specific that I said I would show you, but I’m not gonna show you because I don’t want to make time to get the result that I want from you.”

(Submit your anonymous confession through the link at the top of the page: Confessional.)

4 Things to Do Immediately to Improve Work / Life Integration

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I work from home and I’ve said it a million times…there’s no such thing as work / life balance. When you live where you work and you work where you live, something is always pulling at your thoughts. Not long ago, I wrote about how to use routine to improve your life. And that was an important post…because without finding a system that works for you, you’re going to go bald without the use of Taxotere…from pulling your hair out. You’ll hate yourself and the work from home process (and, by the way, I do not think that everyone is cut out to work from home).

Ultimately, finding the ideal methodology that works for you and your family will take time…and tweaking. I’ve worked from home for a few years now and I still make changes, but I have some core things in place that help keep my world rockin’ along. Here are 4 things to do immediately to improve your work / life integration.

Realize It’s Integration and Not Balance

This is the first and most important thing you can do to improve your work at home life. There is no such thing as work / life balance. Even if you worked outside of the home, it would be integration and not balance. Why? Because we worry about our families / homes / pets / social life when we’re working outside of the home. When we’re home, we have thoughts related to business intruding upon our personal time. And it’s no different when you work from home.

When I’m developing content for clients, interviewing others for news articles, in a web meeting, or re-writing a college-level business class, there’s a good chance that I’m also worrying about any number of things that have to do with house chores, appointments, or whatever.

And when I’m not working and focusing on being Suzy Homemaker (and I do enjoy it, so please don’t misunderstand me), I’m also worrying about client projects, emails, and Goddess knows what…

Work and life exist side by side. They are part of a bigger entity…me. It’s not about balance. It’s about a peaceful co-existence within my own thoughts. And that takes work on my part. The house will not explode because the dishes aren’t done when I usually have them done by. My brain might…but the house won’t. And this brings me to my next point.

Enjoy the Perks

There are a shit load of perks to working from home. What you enjoy may be different from what I enjoy. I enjoy taking a hot bath in the middle of the day. I enjoy taking a walk. I enjoy taking the dogs out into the backyard. I enjoy making a great dinner for my family from scratch. I enjoy going out to lunch with my husband.

Working from home is hard and learning to take advantage of the perks can go along way to stopping depression and feelings of isolation.

Get a Basic Routine

Yes, really. I know…I know…you thought about pajamas all day and working whenever you want. Yet, both of those ideas have fatal flaws. Lounge about too much and (a) you won’t be as productive (science says it, not just me) and (b) you’ll start to feel like a slob (again, science and not just me). Get up. Get dressed. Don’t do your makeup if you don’t want to, but take a shower and get dressed. Have an occasional PJ day, but don’t go overboard. (You likely will and then you’ll remember I told you not to do that…so you’ll fight off depression and force yourself to get dressed and realize you feel better…and that I was right. Save yourself the hassle. I learned from experience.)

Working whenever is dangerous. We all have at least one friend and one family member who doesn’t think working from home is real work…and…or you can just work whenever you want. So, they want you to babysit for free because they work (invalidating what you do and not paying you for your time)…wanting you to run errands for them while they work (invalidating what you do and the importance of your clients). And the whole working whenever? To some degree, sure. If you’re a night owl, do your thing. If you like mornings, do your thing. If you just wanna work while the kids are in school, do your thing. Whatever….but be consistent. Clients need to know when they can contact you. And you need to protect your time from your friends and family. If you don’t, you’re going to burn out. You’ll decide to “do it later” and either later never comes or you’re so tired you screw it up and your client drops you (rightfully so) like a bad habit.

Create a basic routine for work and stick to it.

Just Say No to Looking at Social Media

When you should be working, just say no to looking at social media even if it is “just for a minute.” Don’t waste your valuable work time by fucking around. Some people justify it by being better able to pace your work. If you’re a fast worker, fantastic. So am I. So I get more work. When I take flat rate projects and work fast, it means that I make more on the hourly average than if I was fucking around on social media. Save it for your own time.

I know, I know…”I need to be found on social media.” Sure, but there are tools like Buffer that can be filled up in advance that can post for you. Messages will be there when you have time to read and return them.

Social media can really eat into your day. And you’re totally in control of this.

Domestic Violence Survivor: I Am Not Broken

I was involved in a ten plus year relationship that involved domestic violence. I am no longer in that situation. As a survivor, I am not broken. It took time for me to learn who I was and to like me. And just so there’s no doubt for anyone reading this, I like me. I’m comfortable alone. I’m comfortable with my intelligence and with my looks. I am comfortable with how I run my business and how I communicate with others. I like me and I am not broken.  Read more

WTF Friday – Aliens and Sucky Wedding Photos

wtf friday

Jesus. It’s been a week. There are so many stories I could bring you that highlight the craziness of this world…but due to serious time constraints, I’ve got two really fucking good examples for you.

First Class Ticket to Crazy Town

So, while I do believe that we’re likely not the only life forms that exist…I think that other life forms realize our stupidity and that we’re going to kill ourselves. They don’t need to intervene. I think they just kick back and watch.

Yet a man in Wyoming disagrees with me. He alleges that aliens filled him full of booze so that he could travel back in time and warn residents that aliens would land there next year. Police arrested him for public intox. I dunno what the fuck he was drinking, but I recommend rehab.

Sucky Wedding Photos

I don’t give a fuck (pun intended) about what others choose to do with their wedding photo session. Just keep in mind that what you post on the Internet is (a) out there forever and (b) subject to scrutiny and opinions you may feel like you don’t deserve.

Some newlyweds decided to have a little fun with their photo wedding shoot by simulating a blow job in the woods. The photographer became the center of backlash over the photo…and he basically said that anyone who didn’t like the photo (or thought the photo was tacky…or something similar) was essentially stuck in 1996.

So, yeah, that’s all I have for you guys this week. I’ve got a shit ton of things to do today despite another sleepless night. Wheee!