I’m home with Sam (19 months) today, and we’re having a fun time. There was a zoo trip and shopping — I’ll let you figure out which one of us chose which as our morning activity. There are many upsides to self-employment, and one of them is that I didn’t have to ask anyone’s permission to take today off.
On the other hand, there are downsides, too. Because it’s almost impossible to actually take a day off — you can’t put in for vacation and then ask your co-workers to cover for you. So on days like today, I become a nap time warrior. I made a prioritized list of things that 100% Must Be Done Today. As soon as Sam started rubbing his eyes at 12:45, I was off to the races. This blog post was pretty low down the list, given that it is 2:45 and he’s going to be up any minute.
This would drive me nuts to try to work like this most days (with a swing shift from 9-11PM too, I imagine), though I know people who do it. This is how some folks manage to put in a 20-25 hour workweek with no childcare whatsoever. But even if you do have childcare (and we usually do) it’s always a good exercise to think through in the context of prioritizing our work days. If you only had two hours to work — either because you’re home with pre-school aged kids, or you’ve got an all-day meeting coming up, or are leaving on vacation — what would you choose to do? How quickly could you zoom through the list?
Perhaps more tellingly, what would fall off the list? Could this fall off forever? Or would it just fall off because it’s not urgent (even if it is important)? What would you do on a 2-hour workday?