Hello again Friends
It has been awhile since my last blog post and I will be honest. It has been a struggle to come up with the right topic to speak about. I have lots of topics I would like to tackle. I have been busy working on some projects for clients, I have been traveling and I have been expanding my knowledge base. But nothing seems quite right. In previous posts, I have focused on business-oriented topics. This time, I want to offer something more personal… something real.
The Return Home
So here it goes. My wife and I recently returned to Winnipeg after a 15 day “Holiday” to the Czech Republic. I put the word “Holiday” in quotations because at times it felt like anything but a holiday. Sometimes, you need a vacation from your vacation. The Czech Republic is a bit of a second home to our family, my wife is from there originally, my children have been immersed in Czech culture from an early age (we forced them to adopt Czech “stuffies” from birth), and our oldest 2 children have been overseas multiple times. But this was our first trip for our youngest Lukas.
Lukas is an active 2-year-old and as Don Cherry might say, “it doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to figure out that putting an active 2 year old on a plane for 9.5 hours straight is anyone’s recipe for a good time”. Don’t get me wrong the experience was great… once we got there. We enjoyed traveling around Prague as well as visiting other lesser known spots through the majestic Czech countryside. Personally, I made sure to try as many local craft beers as possible while squeezing in at least one stop at a local coffee shop every day we were there.
Our kids enjoyed spending time with their Grandparent’s while Misha and I managed to enjoy one afternoon child-free; something we do not get to do very often. Having said that, I am a creature of habit and a prairie guy by nature, so as hard as it might be for some people to understand, the majestic landscape of rolling hills and sweet pastries paired with coffee were not enough to keep me from figuratively hugging the employees at Tim Horton’s upon our arrival on this side of the Atlantic. I may not have physically hugged anyone, but Misha says my eyes said it all.
Plugging into the routine
So now we are back. Even though we did manage to get some work done on the road; a couple of small jobs, as well as a full website migration (I had time to kill while waiting for my Father in law to abandon his TV). It is not the same as plugging yourself into a project and really going hard. And that is something I have to say that I missed.
So here we are, the month of August is looking busy and I am eager to start. This is what I wanted right? But alas I find myself lacking focus. My ability to concentrate is shot, my mind is still somewhere on a plane. I find myself more drawn to catching up on the TV series I’ve been missing. How does one simply plug back into work? How can I stop loathing my screen and get the creative juices flowing again?
As I mentioned earlier, I am a creature of habit. I enjoy my routine. I do my best to follow the same routine every week. My wife and I enjoy a pretty flexible work schedule and for the most part, we are able to schedule our work around our lives. On top of Dalilu, we each have jobs. Misha is a media planner for Fusion Communications and I work with my brother running a foster home for at-risk youth. Fusion allows Misha to work from home 3 days a week, and my job is mostly on weekends and overnights.
During the week, Misha works every morning, I spend time with the kids, take them to the playground, the pool, run errands, whatever we can do to break up the day and keep them away from their screens.
On the go I usually will catch up on email, follow up with clients and sometimes just shoot the breeze with friends and acquaintances we bump into on our travels. Monday afternoons are for planning the next 2 days and Monday evening is my chance to blow off some steam at my buddy’s place (Misha affectionately refers to this as Church). Tuesday’s are usually client meetings and new business while Wednesday is reserved for preparing artwork or other design elements we will need for the weekend web development session.
The Work Week
For me, plugging into the routine really means that my work week has started. In my case, mine starts when most people are wrapping up. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday I log between 40 and 50 of work at my brothers and this gives me the perfect time to “plugin”.
For the next 3 days, I like to visualize what I am going to work on before I execute. I like to think about how I am going to create the look of a specific page, or in some cases what kind of custom work I am going to need to do to get the “right effect”. Simply put I like to mentally walk through everything I need to do before I do it.
Once I start, time flies and before I know it, midnight has arrived and it is time to stop. Personally, I find the morning comes quickly. So If I don’t stop, I can often find myself worse for wear the next day. This process usually repeats itself on both Friday and Saturday, which is good in a lot of ways because I find I am able to the quiet time I need to focus. I find comfort in it, hopefully, with any luck, things will be humming again in no time!
Update: I originally wrote this post back at the end of July. Things did get busy and I wasn’t able to finish the post until September 1st!