Working And Not Working

I’m thinking about that philosophy of “work smarter, work less”. There are folks who reckon they only work a few hours a week. How tempting! However, when you examine this claim, it dissolves into discussions about how we define “work”. If you don’t enjoy it, but you have to do it, it’s “work”. Everything else isn’t.

I suppose, by that criterion, I work very little. Most of what I do is enjoyable. I enjoy cycling, and I enjoy writing, and when those two things coincide, I’m doubly lucky.

It also means that I sometimes feel as if I haven’t been working “hard” and that I have to “work harder” to somehow justify to people that I am, in fact, working at all. I have friends who loathe their jobs, or who don’t have a job at all, and I feel almost guilty for having got to a position that I’m happy with. I feel as if I ought to be doing something unpleasant to off-set my daily pleasure in working!

I’ve been very busy at weekends lately. I’ve been out on bike rides, which then have been written up as features and articles. Yes, it’s fun, but I’ve had to have my professional-head on.

So I am very much looking forward to this weekend. Today I’m off to Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, to take part in the Sealed Knot’s civil war battle re-enactment. I’ll be camping in a wet and muddy field until Monday. I’ll be cold, tired, and hungover. But I certainly shan’t be working.

I’m also looking forward to taking my Kindle and having the chance to finally read a whole heap of books I’ve got on there. Lots of my friends and acquaintances write and self-publish, and I’m going to work my way through a list of them. I’ve been promising reviews to too many people for too long.

Enjoy the bank holiday whatever you do!

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  1. #1 by Nimue Brown on May 26, 2013 - 10:31 am

    I know that feeling about being seen to be working hard. Trouble is my best ‘work’ often happens at the point when I’m not trying to work. Inspiration seldom turns up by staring meaningfully at the blank page. I like to sit down with something already figured out… Have a splendid time.

  2. #2 by Phil on May 24, 2013 - 10:00 am

    I know the feeling. Recently I’ve managed to turn my hobby into a proper paid job that will support me full-time. The thing is I still do it as a hobby a little and I certainly go to shows and talk to fellow enthusiasts but now with a professional head on. In a way I’m living the dream, in another, I don’t get a break from work like I used to in an office.

    In his book “How to be free”, Tom Hodgkinson suggests that this is a better life compared to 50 weeks of a job you hate and 2 weeks of holiday. I haven’t got the holiday thing going on yet but I do like what I do most of the time so I suppose it’s just a different lifestyle.

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