On Friday I crashed and burned. Total exhaustion. It was a bit disappointing because I know better. I learned all about the importance of having a healthy work/life balance when I worked at Genworth. I’ve taken classes on work/life balance, spoken with medical professionals about it, yet for the last couple of weeks I’ve been doing little more than working, going to bed later and later, and getting up earlier and earlier. It all came to a head on Friday. I was so tired that I thought for a moment that I might be coming down with something. My eyes hurt, my head hurt, and the thought of getting out of bed was nearly inconceivable.
Note: I’ve had both shots so I was pretty sure I was just sleep-deprived. Sadly, this wasn’t my first time at the sleep deprivation rodeo.
I got up, did my coffee walk, then went back to bed. A little before eight I got up again and logged onto my work computer (in addition to writing books, I’m a technical writer). For about 30 minutes I tried to work, but couldn’t pull it off. I was a creative blank; totally wore out. So I emailed my manager and let him know I needed a personal day. Then I went back to bed and slept. When I woke up I was still a little sleepy, but I felt ready to adult again.
I wish I could say this was the first time this had happened to me, but it’s not. I do this periodically.
My issue is self-control. I’m single, no kids, and I live alone. My time is my time. I don’t have anyone to answer to, so I work exactly how much I want to work. When I’m in a relationship, I can’t do that. I work, but I have very defined stopping points. In my last relationship I never worked Friday night, because that was date night. I only worked on weekends if there was something he had to get done on the weekend. During the week I got up at six and worked till I had to log onto my work computer. In the evenings we ate dinner together, then at seven did our own work thing till ten. I don’t really need three hours in the evening. Two is enough because I’m a pretty fast writer when I’m focused. I’ll talk about what happens when I’m not focused later.
When I’m in a relationship, I have stopping points. I can’t go over these stopping points because there’s another person to consider. I want to make sure he knows he’s a priority, so it’s easy to stick to my stopping points. Also, when I’m in a relationship and in love, I genuinely want to spend time with my sig other. When I’m in love, I look forward to not working. I want less work time and more time to enjoy the relationship.
As a singleton, I don’t have to create stopping points for myself. Well, I create them, but I’m not always good at sticking to them. There’s no reason to stick to them if I don’t feel like it. As a result of having unlimited time to work, I’m not always as efficient as I could be. I open my computer to start work and waste forty minutes on Facebook. But the stuff still has to get done. My daily word count still exists. So I end up working later because I pissed away so much time on my computer not working. That leads to me getting four hours of sleep a night for nearly two weeks, then crashing near the end of week two.
I’m pleased to say that this isn’t the norm for me. Usually, I create a plan on Sunday and stick to it. Every night I stop writing around 9:30, am in bed around 9:50. Sometimes I read a bit, I’m usually asleep before 10:30. I’m up at 5:30, exercise (if it’s an exercise day), do my mediation/spiritual practice, then work on book stuff till 8.
A good indicator that I’m getting off-kilter is if you see me posting stuff on Facebook or Instagram after 11 at night.
I’ve spent this weekend catching up on sleep and am feeling worlds better. I’m going into this next work week re-focused on sticking to my schedule because when I stick to my schedule, my work/life balance is perfect, I’m still able to accomplish all the things I need to accomplish, and I get enough sleep.
Until next time, Happy Reading!