Monday, January 3, 2011
The situation came home to me in Lismore visiting Jodie's cousins and their 1 year old little boy the Wednesday before Christmas. I was tempted to stay at Jodie's parents place and continue working but at the same time wanted to catch up with the family so I worked right up until the moment we walked out the door at 4:30pm and had to explain I needed to be home by 6pm for a Skype call with a company in Europe. When we got to Jodie's cousin's place a number of other cousins arrived carrying a swing set they'd just bought for the little boy for Christmas and went on to discuss landscaping the new house while drinking beers on the porch. I joined in but was partly pre-occupied trying to find the right place to stand to get a 3G connection on my phone to send off a quick email.
I managed to switch off a little better and spend a bit more time with family over the next few days, but I still worked at least 8 hour days over Christmas.
I guess one advantage of our business is that it doesn't require that I be in one physical location all the time. I can be just as productive on the couch with my laptop while half joining in family conversation as I can be in our office. It's also great that I really love the work, so I'm not being forced to do something I don't enjoy. That said, this is still not an ideal situation.
I'm not entirely sure what the solution is. The 3 of us are lucky that our families are very understanding and don't mind too much. And at least we're aware that this is an issue so hopefully in future years, as we grow and hire more people we'll be in a better position to prepare for Christmas and manage our time more effectively to ensure we're able to take a break.
If your startup or work picks up over the Christmas period are there any strategies you employ to ensure you're able to switch off?
Posted by Michael Fox at 2:01 PM