When I was fresh out of college, working in a cubicle at Time Warner Cable Media Sales, my 5-year goal was simple – I wanted a job I could do from anywhere. I wanted to be able to work from a boat, floating around the lake, or from the beach, or from any other fun exotic location I could imagine. Within 2 years, I had that, when I started working as an online journalist. I’ve been doing this work-from-home thing for over a year and a half, now, and I’ve noticed some things.
First off, I work far more now than I ever have in my life. When I had a 9-5er, it was just that – I clocked in at 9a, and left by 5p, nearly every day. I was very careful to not get overtime, as I saw a firmly drawn line between work and play. You work to live, I always said, you do not live to work. However, now that I completely love my job, and am my own boss, things are completely different. I start working at 7a, and typically don’t stop until shortly after 5p, sometimes going into 7p. I usually also put in at least an hour each night, after Mrs. Guru has gone to sleep.
Thus, I’m working far more actual hours, now that I can work from anywhere. I also went on my first working vacation last month – a week in Myrtle Beach with Mrs. Guru. It seemed like the perfect setup – I didn’t have to take time off, and I was able to get up early, work from 7a until 9-10a, and then have the rest of the day to spend with Mrs. Guru. Of course, I wasn’t *as* productive, but I got the important things done, and had email coming to my phone throughout the day, in case something came up.
Unfortunately, after a week at the beach, I got home and realized that I was not any more rested than I was before the trip. I’m also slightly behind the curve still, since I was on a limited productivity run through the week. The result is that my ‘vacation’ wasn’t really as relaxing as I’d hoped it would be. Is this how it always ends up being? Where’s the balance?
Are you a ‘digital nomad’? Have you noticed that you work more now than you ever have? How are you balancing that with a ‘real life’?