As part of my effort to stop spending every waking hour engaged in some sort of work fidget, I’ve instituted sacred time at home. From 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM, Monday-Friday, I will not:
- Check email
- Look at Twitter
- Write anything for work
- Attend to the day’s to-do list
I will spend those hours with my family and whoever else happens to be physically in my house (maybe I’ll even let myself get bored). I’m doing this for a few reasons. First, I was becoming resentful of the people and things that were preventing me from working during that time. Those “people” happened to be my children and that “thing” was parenting. I ended up stressed about what I wasn’t doing.
Plus, scheduling snafus were getting out of hand. By thinking I could schedule just one little thing during the sacred time, I end up missing appointments and other non-professional commitments.
It sure is a different time. When I was a kid, my father came home from work at 5:30 and that was that. No more work until the next morning. Today, the opportunity to “log on” and “check just one more thing” is ever present, and we must make a concerted effort to punch out and stop. Even if it’s just for four hours. Stop.