Balancing Work and Pleasure
Since I’m trying to start my own business, I’ve been thinking a lot about the balance between work and pleasure.
There’s this trend going around of making your work your life. Work 18 a day, have little to no social life, and never really have your mind off the job. This is almost seen as a requirement for entrepreneurs. After all, you can’t start a business if you’re not willing to put everything into it.
I can’t do that. I love the people in my life too much to blow them off for my publishing company. Right now I’m working full time and trying to start this business on the side. I realize that I will have to make schedule adjustments. I will probably have to sleep less. I will miss out on things I would otherwise do. And I think that’s worth it. I just can’t miss out on everything.
I have a great work ethic, but I am not a workaholic. When I’m working, I give it my all. But when I’m not, I don’t want to be focused on work.
I don’t think this has to hinder my entrepreneurial goals. What I have to do in order to get this project off the ground is the following:
Develop a work schedule.
I’ve tried saying that I’m going to work a certain number of hours a week (but I didn’t specify when I would complete them). This resulted in me simply not reaching my hours goals.
Then I tried specifying certain tasks I wanted to complete. This was even worse, as I would schedule way too many other things to do (social, housework, etc.), and maybe only get one or two tasks done (out of an ever-growing to-do list).
I’ve decided the only way I’m going to be able to turn this into a paying job is to treat it like one. So I’m creating a work schedule. I’ll have shifts that I will be required to work, and if something that comes up and I cannot make them, I will have to make up the time within 24 hours.
Create a work environment.
If I’m going to be “going to work”, I’m going to have to act like I’m at work. My boyfriend and I are working on making one of our extra rooms into an office. I’m going to complete my twisted willow tasks in this room and follow certain “rules” that I’ve established.
In this way, I am segmenting my personality. As an entrepreneur and boss, I am setting rules and standards. As an employee, I have to live up to them. I will be a stricter boss on myself at first than I would probably be for other employees, and stricter than my day-job bosses are to me. I will not be allowed to have my cell phone in my office, and I will not be allowed to be on personal social media.
Each week I will create a goal list, as well as a “completed tasks” list. If I don’t reach a goal, I’ll need to justify what happened, whether the goal is still important, and if it is, how and when I will reach it in the future.
Keep my work ethic.
I say I have a strong work ethic, and on some levels, that is true. I always want to put my best foot forward and deliver the best results for my employers. When I work where there are customers, I strive to give them excellent service. I always want my work to be worth the money being paid for it.
But I can’t say that this is all for “ethics” reasons. I like to impress people. I want my bosses to appreciate and like me, and I want the rewards that come with excellent performance. I want to be worthy of higher pay, higher positions, and great recommendations. I want to be worthy of these things so that I can acquire them.
So when I don’t have a boss, that work ethic is a lot harder to come by. I then have to create accountability for myself. This comes partially from the previous mentioned strategy of implementing myself as both boss and employee. It also comes from being accountable to my clients. The authors I work with rely on me to excel so that all parties can succeed. I just need to figure out the best way to make my accountability a real thing and not just a vague concept.
So those are the strategies I am implementing in order to make my business strive and still maintain an acceptable work-life balance. I love editing and marketing and everything I will be doing with my publishing company, but I don’t want it to be my entire life.
If you run a business, how do you handle work-life balance? Is your company your whole life? Do you want it to be? Share your views and strategies below!
Yesterday was my friend Daisha’s birthday, and that of her main character, Aspen! Daisha released her first novel, of which Aspen is the star, over 7 years ago, and it has been trapped in contract with a publisher who was not willing to work with her or make her work shine.
Finally, Noble Courage is free and is set to be re-release in all it’s edited glory on July 29th! Check out Daisha’s post about it, and explore her site to learn more about her characters and series!
I can get a lot done as long as I’m using the tasks I’m completing to put off something else. A professor at Stanford in the 90s wrote a humorous essay about structured procrastination, where he stated that procrastinators could still be high achievers, they just needed to complete important tasks as a method to procrastinating tasks that are even more important.
I’ve always been a procrastinator, and I definitely like to be lazy sometimes, but I’m also a pretty motivated person. I want my family and friends to be proud of me, I want people to know they can count on me, and mostly, I want to make sure I accomplish something with my life.
Procrastination can definitely be a hindrance to feeling like I’m doing anything with my life. After working a 10 hour day, I usually feel like I’ve accomplished enough. I’m perfectly happy vegging out for the rest of the night. I have no problem spending at least one day of my 3 day weekends lying in bed. I feel like I’ve earned it. And there is a lot going on online, which means a lot of times, I’m at least accomplishing becoming aware of issues (or keeping up with some social media fad).
I often come up with projects I want to complete. I have a bin full of craft items that might be destined for neglect. I have a variety of interests – cooking, music, writing, reading, loom knitting, the list goes on. The problem is, once I decide I want to complete a project, it becomes an obligation. But not an obligation that I need to complete for someone else; those I honor. This is more like something that I now am required to do, and when I’m at home vegging, I don’t like being required to do anything. Here are some examples of things that I really want to do but keep putting off: Read the rest of this entry
One of my biggest pet peeves is when articles, blog posts, and other content market themselves as “life changing advice” or something else remarkably useful, and then just end up being lists that don’t give ou any feedback or direction as to how to implement the tools or strategies mentioned.
I also hate marketing advice that is “100 strategies that will change your life” No one has time to invest in 100 strategies, and a list that long is not going to give actionable advice on anything. I’d rather read one in depth article about one useful strategy so that I can decide if that strategy will work for me.
But then the marketing companies that are writing the articles won’t make as much money, because I’d realize I could implement the strategies myself. Is listing 100 things a method to get authors (and other people who need marketing help) to think that there’s no way to manage it all themselves, making it likelier they’d hire a company who supposedly knows the magic of all things marketing?
I think yes
And now for the announcement you’ve all been awaiting with bated breath (okay okay, not really, but read this anyway.)
Here’s the link to the publishing company I now run! This post explains the services we offer. Please explore the site, and keep checking in for more updates!
Also, let me know if you see anything that’s unclear or wonky, I’ve been making a lot of site updates the last two weeks and probably missed something
Guess what everyone! I’m going to be a publisher! A good friend of mine started a self-publishing press last year, and spent a ton of time getting it established. She has a family, a job, and school though, so she’s passed the buck off to me! I’m going to be posting more information later, but just look forward to seeing some news about some great works from some awesome authors!
That’s right. the anthology I’m in is finally published and available for purchase! You can find out info about me and the other authors here at our first blog tour post!
Here’s where you can buy it!
If you don’t have a kindle, Amazon will give you a FREE app for reading on just about any electronic device.
Another great feature of Kindle is the ability to give a book as a gift! Just purchase and schedule it for delivery by email.
I’m excited to be a part of this project and can’t wait to see what you all think of the collection!
You may or may not remember that I’m working on an anthology project with some friends! It’s been a long journey, and the group has shrunken and grown many times. But we’ve put together a collection of fairytales, myths, and fables, and after many many months, we’re finally down to the wire!
Our collection, “Across the Threshold” is set to be released November 29th in a variety of e-book and physical formats. I will provide more information as the date draws nearer, but know there’s lots of fun in store!
My contribution is a fun take on the wishing star, who I’ve dubbed Cecilia. Can’t wait to share our stories with all of you! Let me know if you have any questions, and I’ll keep you up to date on details!
How do you treat the books you read? Do you keep the pages close together so as not to break the binding? Or instead of bookmarks do you sprawl the book open at the page you’re on. Do you mark your favorite passages? Or are the pages not to be marred?
I have some very good friends who collect books and they have very strong opinions about how books are to be treated. They do not read their signed copies of science fiction. They have copies that look pretty and are in pristine condition, and copies that can be read, which they still are careful with.
I’m not the world’s neatest person. I keep my books in piles throughout my room, and sometimes they fall or get stuffed in a bag and pages get bent. Sometimes there’s water damage or tears. And it’s sad, but as long as I can read the words, I’m happy. Because the magic of reading isn’t in the mass-produced pages.
I love books. Not just reading, but books themselves. I haven’t succumbed and gotten an e-reader yet. I probably will eventually, but it’s not a high priority. Books feel nice, smell nice, and are fun to have around. But it’s the stories within that are the treasure. And no matter how ratty and battle-worn a book is, the story can shine through. That’s the real power of literature.
After all, the bulk of the heart that an author puts into their book is in the writing. Sure, they have input on the cover, maybe even create it themselves. And some authors choose the paper the book uses. But a lot of the printing process is largely impersonal, or at the very least, not unique to the story on the pages.
So whether you wash your hands before opening your favorite tome, or have to squint to read through the greasy chip stains, or slide through the words on a screen, take some time this long weekend to enjoy a story.