In life, one might expect that work should not consume 90% of one’s time. There’s a stark contrast between owning a business and working for a company. When you work for a company, many employees simply view their jobs as a means to earn money, often without much passion or dedication. On the other hand, owning a business entails continuous effort not only to complete tasks but also to rectify any errors made by employees. Simultaneously, society tends to assume that business owners owe something to everyone.
It’s baffling when a friend complains about their daily job, suggesting they would excel if they worked for us, even though they lack the necessary skills for the field. While I cherish this friend, they would need to start by acquiring a computer, learning how to use it, and then gaining years of programming expertise. The sense of entitlement in today’s world is quite frustrating. This is where people like me encounter an endless workload and unrealistic expectations regarding how much work a person can handle in a day.
My workload consists of substantial website management, programming projects, and various tech tasks. For instance, one of the companies I work for requires daily work on 25-30 websites. My workday isn’t limited to 8 hours; it often extends to 16-20 hours a day. When I take on additional projects, clients sometimes expect me to be available 24/7, despite clear communication to the contrary. I also have “à la carte” clients who don’t have formal agreements and frequently change project priorities, causing projects to become chaotic. This is why I prefer having clear agreements in place.
We’ve been exceptionally busy for a long time, and I’ve recently faced various health issues. Despite these challenges, I managed to fulfill my workload. During the period leading up to my illness and while dealing with Covid, life improved in some aspects. My health had deteriorated to the point where I experienced random blackouts 20-50 times a day, prompting me to make lifestyle changes. I no longer had to spend 8 hours in an office followed by additional hours of emails and calls. Instead, I now focus on an 8-hour workday dedicated to specific tasks, eliminating the overwork and constant demands. Simplifying my work routine by avoiding physical office visits reduced my workload by 64 hours a week that I previously worked without compensation. This change made life more manageable.
Additionally, as a coder, I excel at multitasking, allowing me to handle numerous client tasks simultaneously without the need for travel and setup. Organizational improvements, clear project outlines, and minimizing clients’ self-centeredness are the second steps to reducing stress in my life.
I’m highly selective when it comes to choosing clients, aiming to avoid the issues that have contributed to my recent health problems. With the clients I have, we’ve grown together, overcome obstacles, and planned collaboratively. I’ve established clearer working arrangements to enhance efficiency and benefit both sides of the work-life balance equation.
Now, I can enjoy quality family time, appreciate home life more, and spend time with our pets. We’ve taken much-needed vacations, reducing stress levels. We explored Moab’s trails with our Jeep, visited Jerome and Cottonwood, and savored the atmosphere of Old Town Scottsdale. We’ve also developed a taste for wine at Merkin’s Vineyards and Caduceus Cellars, indulged in delicious cuisine, attended concerts, and even invested in some musical equipment. Life is good, work is good, but there must be a balance.
It’s been a long journey to reach this point, and it’s time to savor both aspects of life. Thank you for reading.