Give me a break!

I'm self-employed and I work from home quite a lot and I realised last week that I very rarely give myself time off.

If I was still working in an office like I used to I would spend rather a lot of time chatting to colleagues, taking nice long lunch breaks and checking out bargains on eBay (as you imagine, my boss loved me). But when I'm at home I often find myself getting up at eight and sometimes not finishing work until 12 hours later.

Apart from half an hour squeezed into the middle of the day when I throw some food down my neck and catch up on Neighbours (yes, I do still think I'm 15), I sit staring at my screen for hours on end.

The reason for my lack of relaxation time is that I feel guilty and I know I'm not the only one. Friends of mine who have kids never take the chance to sit on the sofa and watch TV while their little ones are asleep/at school because they always feel like they should be doing something.

Even if I don't have any work for a day I still find myself sitting on my computer all day so I feel like I've been productive, otherwise I end up feeling like I'm being lazy. But the reason we work hard is precisely so we can take a break!

I reckon it's time we stopped being so hard on ourselves and started realising that the world won't fall apart if we're late replying to an email or our kitchen surfaces aren't so clean you could eat a take-away off them. 

Next time I have no work to do, I'm going to leave the constraints of home office and go and chill out in my lounge. And I won't be taking my laptop with me.

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