“I don’t want to just be chauffeur and scheduler for my corporeal conveyance.”

-As said Daniel so poetically while we were reflecting on how we want to direct our lives. Return from vacation tends to prompt this sort of conversation, as we try to bring back those free and open thinking patterns and wonder how to assimilate them into daily reality.

Daniel said this as we talked about calendar. We have very different emotional responses to the calendar.  He feels good upon seeing a schedule all filled up with meetings and tasks, and I feel stressed and bad if the schedule is full. It’s no doubt tied to attitudes about work, and what constitutes work.

I’m a rhythm-oriented person: I like to wake up at the same time every day, without an alarm clock, and spend the first three or four hours of the day the same way, doing things in the same order: Meditation, writing, coffee, yogurt, granola, reading, writing. Shower, dress, editing, emails. On to tasks. Lunch should be eggs around 1pm. Continue with projects. And so forth.

Our work life, however, doesn’t actually follow a typical daily rhythm, despite the fact that we’ve been behaving as if it does, “clocking in” around 8:30am and going offline at 5:30.  But the reality is, our work is composed of a whole bunch of discrete projects with highly varied schedules. Most of the projects are, as my dad likes to call them, of the “Hurry up and wait” variety. (Only he says it harry up n wait). Daniel and I have started referring to this as “lumpy work.” The schedule is lumpy. The pay is lumpy. My yearly calendar generally looks like this:

2016-04-18 09.09.51a

So, if we work for ourselves in zero-employee family businesses, why would we even try to clock in at 8:30 and out at 5:30?

It is because it’s reassuring to feel like we are working. It’s too easy to interpret harry up n wait projects as non-productive, even though I’d guess that they tend to be more profitable in terms of time and money than the other kind.

So on to new thinking.

 

Posted by:brook delorme

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