Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Be Flexible - or Scheduled?

One of the cool things about a home office is that you are in total control of your environment, routine, work habits and schedule - and even your dress code (or lack of one). You can do anything you want whenever you want, and you can even change your mind at the last minute and do it all exactly the opposite.

But I'll be honest with you... that "fly by the seat of your pants" stuff doesnt work for me. I need at least a little bit of structure and routine in my life to keep things moving in the right direction. At the same time, I dont want to over-schedule myself to the point that it's frustrating or high-stress either.

Since my recent move (and major change in lifestyle), well - the first couple of weeks here were spent getting adjusted and unpacked and beginning to get organized... But now I think I'm finally ready to settle into a new routine. I just havent quite gotten around to defining that routine.

On the one hand, I love total flexibility and an open schedule that gives me freedom and also control. But like I said "flying by the seat of my pants" doesnt work for me. I'd like to settle on somewhere in between - a bit of structure and routine, with plenty of breathing room.

I'm thinking perhaps I'll start with a "loose" schedule and go from there. There are a lot of things that I'd like to fit into my days such as: a walk in the morning, reading, hanging out with the kids after school - maybe going to play ping pong or an hour or so at the park, dinner at home (instead of eating out or ordering in most nights)... that kind of stuff.

It would be nice too, to get my work done between certain hours on certain days so that my mind is clear when I am 'off work' and free to do other things.

I feel like I have my whole life in my hands at the moment, like a wad of clay. I'm at a point where I can change old habits, create new ones, and position myself to become the person that I want to be - inside and out.

That's a good place to be, no doubt. Maybe that's what people mean when they say "freedom, flexibility & control" in reference to being your own boss. I think I'll start with the things that are most important to me right now (which in general are: being/staying close with my children, taking my career up a couple of nothces, getting in shape & focusing on my health)... and let everything else work it's way in and find it's place as we go along.

I'll have to put some more thought into it, I suppose. I have the hard part licked - I know what I want and I know where I want to be in 10 years. Now I just have to sit down and map out my action plan, complete with all of my personal preferences and laid out in a way that will make it enjoyable and 'easy' for me while I'm living my life.

So what about you? What's working for you to keep every aspect of your life on track simultaneously? How do you manage to pursue ambitious career goals, raise well-balanced children, keep yourself well-balanced... and still remember to take out the trash on the right day every week?