Indulge me, this is a little bit of omphaloskepsis, or as the people who didn’t win the Scripps-Howard Spelling Bee say, navel gazing.
It’s not very often that I climb into bed before midnight. There’s a good chance you may be the same way. Unless you have a job where you are 100% sure of your future, you should be working late also.
I work a regular job during the day. I report to work about 8:45 and head out about 5. Before work, I usually check my email, scroll back through last nights Twitter stream and see if anything is happening on Facebook.
After work is dinner time with my family, followed by bath time for my toddler. Finally about 8pm, I can start working again. I take a very quick peek at my RSS feed, usually I’ll open a handful of articles and send them off to delicious for later review. I’ll scan TweetDeck to see if anything new has popped up on the radar in the last few hours, and start reading the articles I tagged on delicious earlier during the work day.
By about 9:30 I feel like I have caught up to where I should have been at 5pm. Now I start replying to email that has piled up in the afternoon and early evening. Usually nothing urgent, lots of followups and replies from answering questions in Google’s Webmaster Forums. Sometimes someone will see me on Facebook and start chatting, or ping me on Google chat.
Lately I’ve been working on a couple of social media presentations I have coming up. I am terrified of giving boring presentations, which is probably a good thing.
Hopefully at that point in the night I can start writing a blog post that will entertain or educate you. For example, tonight I had 3 ideas for posts, but only have the energy to churn out one complete post, so I’ve started the others and left them as stubs in the draft folder.
Writing a blog post takes me somewhere between an hour and three (and I still miss typos). By the time I finish it, it’s around 11:30 but I’ve usually gotten my second wind. I’m pretty sure the last 5 hours of the day are my best hours.
I’ll check Twitter again and follow a bunch of links and try to keep up on seo, sem, and all of the closely related issues before closing the lid on my laptop and heading upstairs. I’ll sneak into the bedroom around midnight and use one of those ity-bity book lights to read for an hour or so. I am currently reading Groundswell and Crowdsourcing, both are really good. I have Trust Agents, Love is the Killer App and Rules of Thumb in a pile on my bedstand mocking my slow reading.
I guess I would say that “after dinner” is when I work for the future. I know that the corporation that I work for doesn’t care about my future, it cares about it’s own future. There’s only a couple people who care about my future, and they’re upstairs sleeping.
When do you work on your future?
Jenna Trunzo says
Boy, this hits home! The only thing missing for me would be the added guilt I feel if I neglect family time too much. I have so much guilt over finding a balance – my time, family time, work time, gym time…
Phil Buckley says
For me, when I set aside time to spend with my family, I try to totally focus on them during that time, not check my iPhone or watch tv from the dinner table. Since I am not giving them as much time as I could, I try to make sure it’s higher quality.
Kathy Vetter says
I’m a workout junky (after work) and like to sleep, so I usually work on my future during the weekends. I get home around 6:30 or so and usually finish up a few work items after I work out. I’m trying to blog more — about my cycling and about the ground-level challenges faced by print reporters and editors trying to make the transition. I’m taking an online PHP class. Tomorrow night, I’m shooting video at a high school football game. So I guess I’m working on my future all the time.