18 Jun 2012
I have worked for myself, either as a freelancer or as part of a small company, as is now the case, for 6 of the last 9 years. Many of us talk about the great advantages of “being your own boss”. How many times have you been in a conversation with someone who says something like “It’s alright for you, you can do what you want when you want!”
For the most part they are right, it’s great working from your favourite coffee shop or on a train whilst you are travelling in the middle of the day to see a friend. However I have to say it’s not without it’s problems.
One of my aims for 2012 was to try and improve the line between work and home, or work and “not work”. My commute is literally seconds so I have put things in place to help. For example every day I get out of the house to take my children to school. It’s a great start to the day, unless it’s raining, and an opportunity to get some time to think. Additionally I decided to take all public holidays as holidays (something I haven’t always done).
So what’s the point of me telling you all this? Well it struck me the other day that I really don’t know how to take a “day off”—remember those? A day to yourself, not a public holiday or a weekend, a day that you mark off in your calendar just for you. I had hoped to book in one or two a quarter but so far it hasn’t happened. The problem is that I love what I do. Work pays the bills, but the web and design fascinate me. Taking a “day off” would likely turn into me checking emails in a coffee shop, reading a blog post or worse, fixing a bug.
I’ve decided that the next day off will be completely un web related. There’s plenty left to discover in and around the area I now live in. Museums, steam railways, great restaurants, river rides and independent cinemas to name but a few.
The funny thing is when you do make the time and do something different you normally come away with a new perspective, an idea for a design influcenced by a coffee shop menu, the solution to that problem that has been annoying you for days. Deep down we know all this but do little about it, I speak from experience. Let’s try it, after all that email will still be there when you get back!