I was interviewing someone for a story today who is running a local online publication in a relatively small town. His “new economy” job in a very traditional community was the angle, so I was asking him about the benefits of working from home and setting his own schedule. Of course, I could have answered this questions myself, but we weren’t interviewing me about my new economy job.

“The best thing is,” he said, “is that while sometimes I put in long days, sometimes I put in short ones. I mean seriously, if I’m still working after 1:30 on Friday, something has gone wrong.

“It’s so great to just close my computer and say, ‘I’m done.'”

Wow, yeah, we were not interviewing me. I laughed with him about how awesome that aspect of our jobs was and how jealous everyone else must be of us, all while thinking, “He stops working at 1:30 on Friday? Doesn’t he know there’s more to do? Doesn’t he know the Internet still works on the weekend?”

I have a great habit of making to-do lists that will take up 150% of my allotted working time for the day. And then the dogs have to go out and then my body requires I feed it and other annoying things like that occur. And then it’s 9:30 and I have three more things on my list. The worst thing about this is that I have a second list, my “me things” list, that I only get to once the work-y things are done. This includes doing stuff for our wedding, blogging, working on my book proposal, etc. Do you know how many times I’ve set aside time in the last ten days to work on my proposal? Six. Guess how many times I got to it. Right. None.

So tonight at 9:30 I was about to venture into the last three items on my list, and then I stopped. I added up my billable hours for the day. I was over my quota. I looked again at those last three things on my list. And then I thought about what our wedding will be like if I never manage to finish setting up our registry or order the bridesmaids dresses. It’s also worth noting that if I never finish my book proposal, I will be sad pretty much forever.

So I took a cue from my very smart friend with the awesome working-from-home job that isn’t all that different from mine. I closed out my Google Docs billing sheet and said, “I’m done.”

And now I’m going to go install Quickbooks for Mac on my computer. Also on my “me things” list. Totally geeked about it. (Leave me alone.)

4 thoughts on “Saying “I’m done.”

  1. I love it! Also very timely for me – I just finished making my to-do list for today. I was trying to limit it to three big things, but suddenly it is taking up an entire page!

    1. They get so out of control so quickly! It’s insane how little it seems like you can get done in one day if you write it down. I try to break things into small steps and include, “eat lunch.” More to cross off!

  2. Oh no, QuickBooks is in the “Me” category? I think a spa day is in order!

    This is good inspiration. I like the idea of separate work and personal lists, mine are all jumbled together and it gets really hard to focus or cross things off.

    1. Yeah, but the danger is that you might never get to your personal list. I also only got as far as installing Quickbooks last night, not learning how to use it. The pleasure isn’t over!

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