Personal Time vs. Work Time. The Struggle Is Real.


I’ve been self-employed or worked from home pretty much since Jordan was 3. And now that I do the math, that’s nineteen years. She’ll be 22 in November.

I’ve always had the hardest time choosing to do something creative or relaxing when I know that I could be being productive. Even something as simple as watching tv–when technically ‘work hours’ are through for most people–isn’t easy. Laptops, ya know? It’s easy to type up a blog post or answer emails or make some designs as you’re listening.

I’ve struggled with finding balance between personal time and work time. You’d think that after 19 years I’d have found a way to get rid of the guilt associated with shutting the computer and shutting off the brain. That’s not to say that I work 24/7, so to speak. I do take time off. I will go to lunch with my bestie or run errands with my family, etc.. But it’s stuff like this, taking a few hours to read a book or like in my latest endeavor–crocheting this afghan–the guilt of knowing that I could have been working inevitably sets in. And now that I’m processing what I’m saying, it’s particularly the guilt associated when I do something that only involves me. A personal, singular activity.

How do you allow yourself to say it’s okay to read a book or crochet and not design or scrap (in my case)?

How do you shake that guilt?

Am I alone in this boat?

What do you do to change your mindset?

Is it just a matter of doing it and letting go of it all? Will the guilty feeling just naturally start going away when you say your work hours are done?

Are we just so hard on ourselves that we’ll always feel that?

I don’t wanna always feel that. But seeing the nineteen year record….apparently I haven’t learned how to get rid of the guilt and know that it’s okay.


2017-05-09T11:43:01+00:00September 8th, 2016|everyday life|5 Comments


  1. Yvonne September 8, 2016 at 9:52 am

    I’ve been working from home since 1995 and haven’t figured it out yet. My brain is always thinking of just one more thing that I could get done. It can be a burden. You are not alone! :) Like today–I have some reports that MUST be done, yet here I am reading posts. :D And thank you! :D

  2. Barbara September 8, 2016 at 11:20 am

    Just started working from home last week. Glad to here I’m not the only person with guilt. My full time job has only been a part time job since I started two years ago. But so far I’m not able to work only part time from home. Why is that? I’m still trying to make it a full time job. Will I ever relax and go with the flow?

  3. Lorna September 8, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    It is OKAY to do something just for you. I think it makes you more productive in your business…not resenting that your business takes all your YOU time. I have had my own decorative sign business for 20 years and I will say it was easier when we moved it out of our basement and garage. My children are grown and mostly out of the house (my 27 year old son recently moved home and joined the business) but I NEED my own creative time and time with my grandchildren and other family members. It is hard finding that balance but you definitely need your OWN time, too, and you should NOT feel guilty. The beauty (taking time off when you need to) and the downfall (feeling like you always need to be available) of your own business!

  4. Kay Miller September 8, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    This is so interesting! I have worked from home for over 20 years now, and also have this exact same thing. Most of the work I do is creative, so it’s fun and I enjoy it, but I can’t imagine sitting down during the day and reading a book or doing nothing productive. I do believe it’s a very good thing though, to take time for yourself to do nonproductive things you just enjoy, or to just do nothing for a while.

  5. Lorretta September 8, 2016 at 9:28 pm

    I also struggle with balancing some personal time to just have fun and do something I enjoy. I watch the clock thinking I should be doing something for my family or for my child’s school or my work. I feel selfish doing something for myself and yet I know logically that taking time for myself will give me more energy to nurture others. Maybe we could all make a pact to create a block of time each week that we devote to replenishing our spirits. We can then teach our children that when they become adults, they too can take time for themselves without guilt. I think we’re all worth it. =)

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