Yesterday as I sat
banging my head working in front of the computer, my son and his friend from next door walked through the house.
“Will?” I heard her ask, “Why is your mom always in front of the computer now?”
“I don’t know, ” he replied. “She works on the computer now, so she always has to be on there. I don’t know what she does.”
“It’s weird, because now, whenever I come over, she’s always sitting there.”
Out of the mouths of babes.Yeah, okay it did send a pang of guilt through me, wondering what other mothers do on Sunday afternoon. But more than guilt, it really brought home to me that this is not how I want to spend th majority of my life, at least not the hours my kids are home. Let me be perfectly honest, and tell you the sad truth. If I wanted to spend my weekend in front of the computer, as strong as the force of guilt is, it wouldn’t deter me, because the force of selfishness is stronger. Which for me is saying a lot, because I struggle with guilt.
Case in point, when I first started blogging, I can’t tell you the countless hours I spent in this very chair surfing the net. Reading and writing, commenting and reading comments. It was like a whole new world had opened up to me, and as I was pretty isolated at the time, it was like an IV to the outside world. Sure, I felt guilty. But did that stop me? Nope.
The same is true when I first started doing graphic design. I would sit there, lost in Adobe Photoshop until the pixels made my eyes cross. But then the novelty of those things wore off, and the siren call of the computer was a lot fainter. Now that I’m getting my graphic design business going, it might seem like I’m in the same boat, but I’m really not. I love my work, but I’m not obsessed with it. However you couldn’t tell it by looking, because I sure can put in the hours.
I’m not sure what the problem is exactly, but I need to figure out a way to restructure my time, and organize my work so that when my kids are home I’m not bathed in the glow of my monitor. I KNOW it can be done, if I really want to do it. I can separate my work life from my life at home. So this week? When my kids get home from school, I’m logging out. When the weekend rolls around, I’m not working; I may not even answer my email. If I set some hard and fast rules in the beginning, maybe they’ll be easier to stick to later.
Also, this week, I’m monitoring all my time on the computer, work time, and fooling-around time. I may be spending more time that I think I am surfing the net. Just like when I’m dieting, an m&m here and there adds up after a while. I have this terrific timer, and plan to keep track of my fluff-time, as well as work time, for each day. I’ll let you know how it goes. Please leave me any tried and true tips in the comments.
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