Flexible working hours: Mowing on a Monday

- September 13, 2006 2 MIN READ

As a fairly new soloist, I am still coming to terms with the flexible working hours this existence brings. No longer am I bound to my desk from nine to five, having to find an excuse if I want to sneak out mid-afternoon to buy a book or wash my car.

I’m finding that with this new found flexibility comes guilt in the form of a little voice that quietly suggests “Shouldn’t you be at your computer? What right do you have to mow the lawn on a Monday morning? That’s a weekend job!”

Sometimes, most of the time in fact, that tiny little voice wins out and I find myself chained to my desk…doing stuff!

Fortunately, business is good so there’s always stuff to do, making the idea of being deskbound not such a bad one. Us soloists need a bit of discipline every now and then.

But there have been times when I could easily have taken advantage of the flexible working hours and afforded myself the luxury of doing other things – things completely unrelated to my business. Like getting on top of the Things to sort out around the house list.

But what if a client rang and I was changing a light bulb? Or Heaven forbid, cleaning the shower…naked! Would they be on to me? Would my sense of guilt give me away? What if that little guy on my shoulder yelled down the phone “Hey…Bet you can’t guess what Tim was doing when you rang?”


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Well, I guess the thing is, there is freedom in flying solo…and it’s bloody good. It should be celebrated and enjoyed but never abused. Right now, I do have to remind myself that it’s okay to enjoy the flexible working hours and be at my desk for less than eight hours a day. And that mowing the lawn on Monday is the right thing to do.

In fact, writing this article has been quietly cathartic in that it’s helped me realise that a major part of flying solo is all about getting the job done and not about trying to fill in time. If I want to do that, I’ll head back to corporate life.

And if I did that, it would not just be my shower and lawn that would suffer.