Old, Sad Computer Gets Its Way…

My old, sad computer got its way today when I worked on documents and computer cleaning for 6 hours this morning. I was really hoping to finish all my organizing in one day, but my computer had other plans. It ran so slow and refused to print (it finally decided to print after I got home this evening)! I struggle with technology, so I had to do slow, deep breathing exercises several times this morning in between yelling and cursing at the computer and printer when I forgot to STAY CALM.

I had plans to spend time with family this afternoon and evening, so I figured getting up early and putting in 6 hours would be enough time to get all my work organized, but it was not. Disheartened and frustrated, I left everything piled on the dining room table and promptly forgot my troubles as I went to enjoy the rest of my day. I really enjoyed having lunch and spending the afternoon/evening talking and playing a game with family. When I walked through my front door, a depressed feeling came over me as I realized I still had to deal with a temperamental computer and printer.

I sat down and opened my laptop, as soon as it came on it started printing. I was so glad it decided to cooperate. I decided to write my posts and go to bed. I’ll continue organizing tomorrow.

In the meantime, I’m going to do something I enjoy: Tell you more about myself and my process…

I think I’ve gotten pretty good at compartmentalizing.

My very first boss, as a mental health professional, taught me to track and value my time. I was worried about the consumers, (in Georgia, mental health clients are called consumers to help decrease the stigma and remind everyone that they are consumers of our community’s mental health services) on my caseload, ALL THE TIME. I wanted to give them my money to take care of their problems, (e.g. not being able to pay the water bill or pay for their medicines) and I would take their woes and difficulties home with me and ruminate over them.

One thing my immediate supervisor did for me was, she had me fill out my time sheet to the minute. She taught me that my time is precious, balance is key, and I need to separate my personal time from my work time.

It may sound callous, but when people work in a helping profession, it’s easy to get enmeshed with the people they’re helping, which can make them less effective. My level of enmeshment as a new mental health worker would have burnt me out quickly, which my supervisor recognized, and she guided me and taught me how to avoid burn out. Because of her I learned to leave work at work and home at home (my son was 2 years old at the time, so sometimes leaving home at home was difficult too). I would think about work on the drive to work in preparation of having a productive day, and I would think about home on the drive home and get ready to be a mom, daughter, and spend time with family and friends.

When I taught in public schools, I struggled with splitting my time. I trained myself to not work at home for years, so when it was time to work at home, I wasn’t very good at it. I could spend 12 hours a day or more at the school and work (one school would let me do this, but most wanted all the teachers out the door by 5), but I would be miserable about having to make myself work at home.

Now, working on my own school from home, I wasn’t getting as much done on a daily basis as I needed to until I went to boot camp with Abigail from Sweetspot Strategies, and I set a 30 day goal to post on Facebook and blog every day. Because of this goal and my dedication to it, I spend several hours a day researching and reaching out to others and then writing about it, which was also the goal.

I have to say, it’s only been 9 days, but I’m proud of myself for sticking to my goals, and I’m glad that I am flexible enough to change my work habits.  Every day I am more comfortable and productive working from home. I still need to work out some kinks and definitely need to finish organizing what I have, and then keep everything organized on a regular basis, but I feel progress and success is mine, all I have to do is reach out and grab it!

So tomorrow will be another organizing day, and while I’m kind of dreading it right now, I’m going to focus, for what is left of my night, on changing my attitude on organizing and enjoy the order and increased productivity that will come from doing this very important part of the job well.

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