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"The Wonders of Flexible Time"

by Dave Balch, "The Stay-at-Home CEO"™

(c) 2001, A Few Good People, Inc.

Once in a while something comes up that just can't be ignored; it's those times that make me thankful that I have flexibility with my time.  Just recently one of those opportunities presented itself and, because I could, I jumped on it:  working with the Red Cross near Ground Zero.  I have posted an extensive description of that experience, but first let's talk a little about "flexible time".

One of the biggest advantages of working at home is the fact that your time is your own.  BUT... one of the biggest disadvantages of working at home is the same thing, so it can be very difficult to leave it alone.

After over 19 years of struggling with this, I must say that I am still on the fence about whether it's a plus or a minus.  But then again, it really doesn't matter does it?  It is what it is.  We have to learn to take advantage of it when we can and manage it when we can't.  I've experienced incredible joy taking time off when I could and terrible frustration trying to take time off when I couldn't.  We've all had these trials and tribulations, haven't we?

Back to the Red Cross.  I was in New York to meet with a mentor and fellow speaker.  I found myself inexplicably drawn to Ground Zero and I knew that I simply had to do something to help.  Thanks to my time flexibility, I was able to do just that.  It was an experience that I will never forget; one that was so rewarding that I want to share it with anyone and everyone.  I invite you to visit where you will find the details presented in the hope that you, too, may have such an opportunity some day and that you will take advantage of it.  Because you can. 

Are you making good use of your flexible time?  Are you using it to do things that are important to you?  I know a home entrepreneur in Arizona that works with youths in local jails and is also active with Junior Achievement projects in local schools.  She has the time flexibility to do these  things and she does.

Then there is the dark side.  It can be awfully hard to leave your business alone when it is just a room or two away isn't it?  How do you resist that little voice that says, "Just come to the office for a minute"?  We all know what happens then; you're already sitting there so you might as well do just one more thing, and another, and another.  Suddenly it's too late to do anything but go to bed.

There is no easy answer.  Awareness of the problem and the importance of managing it is a big step.  Sometimes a "trading" strategy helps smooth the bumps.  For example, if you take a day off to spend with visiting relatives you get to "trade" that free time for working time a few evenings after dinner.  That's fair, don't you think? 

Our time flexibility is one of our biggest assets.  Let's use it wisely.

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