Learning to Say No

One of the things I was looking forward to when I finished work last September and started working for myself was the control I thought I would have. No more having to get up at five in the morning because my manager needed me to go to a meeting at the other end of the country that lasted all of an hour (what’s wrong with a phone call I ask you?), no more working weekends because I was given something to do at 4:55 on a Friday afternoon that was needed by 9:05 on a Monday morning, and no more having to smile and say “yes, of course,” when I really wanted to say the complete opposite and turn the air blue.

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For the most part, I am pleased to say my move into self-employment has been pretty successful. There’s been no more early, early mornings and only a few late, late nights. Where I am struggling, though, is the not saying yes part. I am just no good at it and, after a recent conversation where my brain was screaming at me to say no but I still said yes, I’ve decided I need to do something about it. And not just when it comes to work but in life in general, where I am just as bad if I’m honest. Continue reading

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How (Not) To Work From Home

10For the last ten years or so, I have been working from home, at first for a couple of large national charities and now for myself.  The work I was doing required a lot of flexibility in when I worked as everything was deadline driven and this included late nights and weekends.  In theory, this flexibility was returned by the companies I worked for.  In reality, this wasn’t actually the case and there always seemed to be plenty to do to fill up the days.

As a result, I often worked way over my 40 hour week and found myself tired, irritable, and missing my family (even if they happened to be in the next room!).  For the last couple of years, especially, my work-life balance was shot and it’s the main reason I have decided to start working for myself.  I need to be able to breath, eat, sleep, exercise, be a mom and generally have a life.  This week, I got my first contract as a freelancer – exciting.  Not so exciting was the comment the manager I’ll be working for made about sending emails at 11 at night – just what I don’t want to happen! Continue reading