Friday, 4 October 2013

Day 4: Be the Boss, Be the Employee

Going back to Jaimie Engle's article, Balancing Act: How to Live as a Wife, Mother & Writer, I wanted to talk about another point she made.  Under the heading, Discipline, two things she listed are, "Be the Boss", and "Be the Employee."

In my work-at-home dreams, I never really thought about how it was going to pan out.  I didn't realise that I would have to struggle to conquer my own personality in order to get work done and be a responsible person.

Be the Boss
This includes setting schedules, goals, and expectations.  Not only do I need to be the boss in my work, but I also need to be the boss in the rest of  my duties as well.  I need to be able to plan ahead, and see the big picture.  Knowing myself, and my track record of procrastination in the past couple of years, I sometimes tend to avoid planning and scheduling, because I "know" I'll just mess it up again.  But as the maxim goes, "If you aim for nothing, you'll hit it every time."  If I (the boss) don't have a plan and let myself (the employee) procrastinate, a big task such as my current editing contract will be crammed into the last two weeks before my deadline, causing nothing but stress and family/marital discord.  That would not be fun.  And if things don't have deadlines, they might not get done at all.

So for my contract, before I picked a deadline, I made sure to calculate how much editing I could reasonably do in one week, and built in plenty of buffer time to make sure that even if I fall off the wagon for a while, or if something major in life interrupts, I can still get it done on time.  It's going well so far.

Be the Employee
If I were an employee of a business and acted like I do on some of my lazier days, I would be quickly fired.  Honestly, I would fire me.  As an employee (of myself), I need to follow through with the plans set by the boss.  The boss says, "Do this today.", so I'd better get that done, or else.  I haven't quite figured out how to make myself be a good employee when there is no one watching me.  I'm much better at being the boss, with grandiose lists and ambitious plans that never get completed (As a kid I used to design castles, for heaven's sake!)

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