Work can be fun!
Guest Post by DeeAnna Merz Nagel
I mostly work from home and that can be challenging. How do I adjust my days so that I stay in flow and practice self-care? The balance is not always easy but the balance is important. I started the Online Therapy Institute a few years ago and anyone who has started a business knows how much time and energy the effort takes. I had already started a part time private practice seeing just a few clients a week in the office and a few clients a week online. After a couple of years (literally) of trying to find my work groove, balancing work at home, work in the office and occasional travel to conduct seminars and workshops, I finally found a rhythm that works for me.
I am an introvert by nature, so give me a cozy environment and a laptop, access to coffee and tea and a pastry or chocolate here and there, and I am golden. Sometimes the challenge is not to indulge my quiet side too much. So instead of stacking my client appointments to one day a week, I found it works better for me to see clients a few days a week. Even if I have one client during the day at the office, that gets me out of the house. So while I could arrange my work week so that I only go to the office one day a week, I purposefully plan my schedule differently.
I also found that when I work from home, I do well to move around in my space. I might sit at the desktop (properly- in an ergonomic chair at a desk) or I might sit on the sofa, or lounge in the guest room when on my laptop. Moving around gets me up and out of that “headspace” for a bit.
I also move around with my tasks, perhaps answering a few client emails in the morning and answering a few in the late afternoon. The rest of my day is filled with writing curriculums and answering trainee and consultancy questions. I use social media as a way to relax online. It is my communication portal and draws out the engaging side of me. I like the conversation and dialogue that social media can foster.
I also take breaks during the day to just play – whether that is reading something really gossipy or juicy on my new Kindle Fire, or watching a talk show, going to lunch with a friend or a colleague, or taking a few hours during the week for shopping or spa-like activities. Mostly, I try to lean into the mood I am in and when I am not creative or ready to begin work, I don’t fight it. I allow myself to putter and trust that the work mindset will kick in (it always does).
I am fortunate that my office is 5 minutes from my house and that I live in a small village on the Jersey Shore. I can live the quiet life and wave to the Manhattan skyline – only a ferry ride away! Working for myself allows me different luxuries that I do not take for granted. A nice spring day might give rise to seeing a matinee on Broadway. It is all right here at my fingertips – the world in cyberspace and the world outside my door. Finding balance to enjoy both the online and the offline world is important.
Today I woke up with every intention of finishing up a curriculum. Instead, I puttered with Polyvore and created an expressive piece about work: http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/set?.svc=twitter&id=43800377
Questions: What’s fun about your work? How do you keep it about you? Please tell us your story.
Self-Care Tip: Keep work about you and you’ll have more fun. Keep on.
DeeAnna Merz Nagel is psychotherapist, coach and consultant. She co-founded the Online Therapy Institute and the Online Coach Institute and is Managing Co-Editor of TILT Magazine ~ Therapeutic Innovations in Light of Technology. Her counseling and consulting specialties include relationship issues, alcohol and drugs, surviving abuse, internet addictions and understanding how technology impacts our lives. She offers online counseling and in-office psychotherapy in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey. Find her at http://www.jerseyshoretherapy.com & http://www.trainingcoachesandtherapiststoworkonline.com