Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Take A Break From The Hamster Wheel Of Life

The dog days of summer will be with us in a few weeks, vacation time is ahead (for those of us lucky enough to be able to take vacations), so we might as well as try to relax. Here is a link that I picked up from Web Worker Daily about relaxation techniques for harried workers. Three among these might appeal to the office-bound as realistic alternatives to relentless work focus - "Meditation Nap" (most of us can afford to at least close our eyes for 5 minutes), "The Bathroom Break" (as the post says, "it isn't called the restroom for nothing"), and my own personal favorite, making an "Appointment with Yourself". I think I will try to fit myself into my own calendar somewhere... "Play Hooky for the Day" is another life-altering possibility. It is very doable for an IT contractor, and tempting too - but I lose money every day I take off from work. So nix on that one for me...

The Attleboro Sun, in erstwhile Puritan cum Dotcom Massachusetts, claims that playing hooky from work is a growing problem. It notes that, in 2006, "the rate of unscheduled absences reached its highest level since 1999, costing some large employers an estimated $850,000 per year in direct payroll expenses." Nonetheless, this sounds like a good trend to me - and one from which, according to the article, many workers may be implicitly shielded by the tight job market. Tight job markets, like summer days themselves, are as evanescent as mayflies, so we might as well take advantage of them while they last.

Web Worker Daily meanwhile adds its own techniques for varying the enviable "grind" of working from home - or, as the author calls them, "a few ideas for breaking up the routine of having less routine." These include acting as if you're going to work, which involves dressing up, getting in the car, and driving around the block or making some other perfunctory and meaningless circuit about the neighborhood. That's too weird for me, reminiscent of Lifetime TV potboilers about sociopathic slacker husbands who pretend to have jobs that don't exist. The other alternative is actually going to work in a regular office! A real refresher that would be for the average pajama-clad telecommuter. Our culture may indeed come full circle to the point where visiting a business office for a spot of drudgery becomes a welcome break from Real Life.

"Getting Off The Treadmill Of Life" from Lifehack.org
"It's Summertime...Let's Play Hooky" from The Attleboro Sun (Massachusetts)
"Getting On the Treadmill of Life" from Web Worker Daily

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