I started doing web development as a hobby many years ago. Eventually, I started making it my life career. The advantages and disadvantages quickly came very clear as you can see in my Working from Home post.
Development was once a fun hobby to pass the time. Then it became a job. The free time to work on personal projects is gone. All the dreams I once had to develop sites and systems for fun is now overtaken by the need to finish up and obtain new clients.
I also have a great desire to learn new things. I would love to learn new programming languages and better skills my design skills. I would love to continue to grow with my passion rather than be held still by it.
I’ve decided to copy myself, I will have 3 versions of myself throughout the day. Most people do this but rarely notice. The easiest way to notice is simply see how people react around different groups of friends, a lot of people will change.
The 3 New Types of Me
I will always have a need to work. It is one of my favorite things to do. My only issue is what I’m working on. Never do I get to work on one of my own ideas.
I always add a little flavor to every project I get. I add extra features that the site owner might not have thought of. But at the end of the day I can only say I did that, I can’t say it’s mine. I need something to be mine.
Therefore, I will have a work me that will focus on clients and I will limit my hours per day to simply working. A real world job would take anywhere from 8 – 9 hours of your day to get something done – sometimes there is overtime.
I am now going to get myself on a set schedule and follow specific work hours. I have clients with different sleep schedules so determining the right time of day to make this happen is difficult. I may just say that as long as 8 – 9 hours of work is done in a day, I’ll be happy. But this removes the structure which is an issue. I will also try to take two days off a week rather than working all 7 days.
For now, I’m going to say from 7am – 4pm I will be working on clients. Nothing more or less. Well, at least some time for lunch.
This will allow me a time to say no to the other two versions of me: playing and social.
Everyone needs some “me” time. Time to do a hobby, read, or just watch paint dry. Without time alone, one never truly gets to understand themselves. I’ve decided to give myself 2 -3 hours a day for myself. I can read, play a game, or work on a personal project. Which ever I choose is my own decision. I just need to make sure I allow time each day to make myself happy and to grow without guilt.
This “me” time will be either after I’m done working or socializing. Just as long as I get some time to grow before I rest.
I have a lot of friends with very busy lives. I get invited to do multiple things a day and usually do very few of them, one if I’m lucky. People think since I work from home I have the ability to drop what I’m doing and just go have fun for the rest of the day. And this is very wrong.
They have the promise of a check on Friday, I only get paid when I get stuff done. Each day is a mini goal to finish something. I can’t just let time pass by because someone calls.
However, I can’t be a hermit and live in my office alone for the rest of my life. As I stated in my last two versions of me, I will have about 9 hours of work a day, and 3 hours of “me” time. This leaves about 4 – 5 hours of social fun. Weekends of course are a different story. There needs to be a cut off from work and play. Weekends will be for trips and more long term fun.
I need more structure in my life. I need to grow and have fun without guilt. Once I get a routine going everything should be cake. Productivity should go up. I can no longer just work until I almost fall asleep in my chair. I need a break and some fun.
I know this won’t be a one day change to get this all into place. Nothing of structure is overnight. But I’m going to start a countdown timer while I work to make sure I stay in my range. I’ll say no to social events until the timer is up. I’ll make sure I get some time each day to clear my head. I’ll make sure I set time aside for friends and family.
If I follow this simple yet complex structure, I think life will start to get a little more enjoyable. And who knows… one of my great side project ideas might end up becoming my new full time career.