Ok, if you read my “Truthful Thursday” post, then you know where this is coming from. Big conversations were had this week. HUGE. Changes were made and in the small amount of time that they’ve been established, I am happy to say that things feel better.
Do you work from home? Do you work and then go home to your family only to find that you can’t figure out a way to unplug? This is me in a nutshell. My office hours start at 7AM and end at 11PM every single day of my life. I’ve been completely available to whoever has needed me since 2005.
Man, that’s not fair.
Earlier this week, we hit a pretty big wall. I saw things for what they were and realized that something had to happen for the sake of my family. My kids don’t deserve to have parents that are too busy to help them with homework. I think it’s great that I’m having such a fantastic business start to 2015, but not if it comes at the expense of my little ones’ happiness.
So, Bill and I talked about it and we decided that from 4-9PM each day, we would completely unplug. No more emails. No more working online. No more final edits to posts or contracts or whatever ELSE needs to happen. From 4-9PM EST, it’s all about the kids. They deserve to have our COMPLETE attention. They deserve to have our EYE CONTACT.
I could cry writing this – you know that? I could absolutely cry. So many years being too many things to too many people during a time when it should have just been about my kids.
Bill and I decided that if we have to stay up later to finish up loose ends each night – so BE IT! If I have to watch my favorite shows while working and writing content for the next day, then I will. No matter what, my children deserve to have uninterrupted time with their parents when they get home from school.
The last two nights have been great. (I wrote the Thursday post on Wednesday – so that actually happened on Tuesday).It all just feels right. There’s less screaming, rushing, fighting… CHAOS in general. Common Core Math is hard enough as it is! Imagine asking for help from someone who is really only half there.
Your challenge today is to make a decision to TURN OFF work the minute you walk in the door. I want you to understand something — I know this is the hardest thing to do on the planet. I AM MY COMPANY. If I don’t check an email or get a contract back or submit a post by a specific deadline, it’s ME that suffers. It’s ALL ON ME. So, I know that every minute is crucial when you own a business and are running it from home. I recognize that this is asking a lot of you to shut it all down for 5 hours a day. It almost seems impossible. But the emails can wait. They really, really can.
Someone in PR told me once that their motto is, “It’s PR not the ER.”
It only feels like this mega emergency. But, if you reply back at 9 as opposed to 6, the world will keep spinning. I promise. That definitely took me a minute to accept. Because as a TYPE A individual, EVERYTHING IS CRITICAL.
Now there’s a side note that I have to serve you — IF there is a day where you are on MEGA deadline, then exceptions can be made. This is really for your average day. It’s a promise to be present whenever you absolutely can be present. Work still pays the bills – if you need to do something, then of course do it! But we have to learn to disconnect. We really have to get back to basics here. I don’t want to be so available anymore. 7AM to 4PM is a pretty long time to connect with me… isn’t it? Make your own rules up and stick to them.
Your family and your sanity will thank you for it.
Do you know what I did yesterday when I got home from work? I pulled a chair up to my fireplace and sat by the fire. The kids and I played games while we snacked on some munchies. No TV. No phones. No Internet. We just existed. And I think it was one of the best nights we’ve had in MONTHS.
Check back in a few days for the next challenge.
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