It took me long enough to figure this out, but I think I know why the system works for me. Iím talking about working at home and working on weekends and taking all those breaks. I didnít think of it as a system much, until today when I thought, ďThe system works.Ē
Itís breaking my job into bite-sized chunks that makes it more palatable. Iím spoiled for a nine-to-five, forty-hour job where you canít lie down and take a nap in the middle of the day, or spend an afternoon shopping or taking a late lunch, or ease into the morning with a book or a telenovela. Even if it means more actual working hours that extend later into the evening, itís a system that works for me.
Iíve been on that other track, of course. And I worked for years in retail, which is even worse because you work for eight or nine or eleven hours at a stretch, but sometimes you start early in the morning and other times you keep going until midnight. Those early-early and late-late shifts ruined me. I was pretty good at my job until the reaction kicked in and I was tired and cranky all the time. Those arenít qualities that play well with customers in an upscale mall.
On the other hand, with the hours Iím keeping and the sleep Iím missing, Iím not in such great shape now, but at least I donít come into contact with anyone who could be contaminated by my perpetual foul mood. That makes it a little easier to put on a sunny smile and get happy when I do talk to people. All in all, it works out pretty well.
Itís probably worth it, the long hours. It keeps me from dragging along in the morning and it doesnít force me into a frenzy of activity to get to a stopping point by quitting time. There is no quitting time, but there are a lot of recesses, just like in grade school. Only better, because there arenít any playground bullies here.
And if I think about it, I probably did realize that this was a ďsystemĒ and that it was working. I just never consciously articulated it until now. In fact, until now I might have said that I was slacking off too much at work, and I might have felt guilty about it. Did, in fact. But you can forget about that, because anything that can be defended as part of a ďsystemĒ for getting work done more efficiently isnít going to be something I feel guilty about. Or if I feel it, I certainly wonít admit it.