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Why One Partner Needs to Go Out and Work

Why One Partner Needs to Go Out and Work
Office Computer

    With the rat race catching up and both the partners in a relationship slogging to make ends meet, don’t you wish that you would be able to work from home where both of you could spend as much time as you want to with each other? Well, if you have such desires and thoughts, it is highly recommended that you think through the various consequences of the whole situation before you decide to take the step.

    I have been working from home for the past 7 years but did not really realize anything till my in laws came over for a visit. Over the years, my social circle had been shrinking but I had not given it too much thought. Given that I am not the kind of person who would go out of my way to make friends, I realized that the office friends dropped and no new ones were made. The whole thing came crumbling down when we had a son and I ended up spending time with him post my working hours. The precipitating factor was the visit of my in laws when my wife and son spent a lot of time with them and I ended up feeling neglected and alone. It almost seemed as if my son and wife did not notice me or give any credence to my presence.

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    A little introspection made me realize why this was happening. The fact of the matter is that absence does make the heart grow fonder. There have been no times when my wife waits for me to return from a tired day at work. I am just always there! There is no thrill of taking a day off from work to do some of the household chores that have piled up or the excitement about saving time on a weekend to complete the shopping that we intended to do. Due to constant presence of the other person, we had probably got too used to being around.

    It is important that we realize that change is something that humans need. It rejuvenates and brings you out of the dreary boredom of regulated life. And if you are always busy on your computer day in and day out without moving out and meeting other people, you will soon become a recluse. Once you achieve what you want, the object looses its charm and attraction and that is exactly what happens when you stay with each other all the time.

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    But this does not mean doom for couples that have work that requires them to be at home. It is just that you need to realize that there are certain steps that you need to take to ensure that you keep the excitement alive in your life.

    Explore the option of taking up a part time job so that you can be away from home for a little while for a few days in a week. This will ensure that you shall also look forward to your time out, meeting people other than your wife and kids. It does not matter what the job is. Try teaching, giving tuitions, doing some administrative work or the like. You could also consider other things to do that take you out of the home environment. Take up a new hobby that requires you to go to classes every week. If you are already making money out of what your hobby was, try taking up a new one. Hobby classes are a good place to socialize and make friends. And this will give you a chance to meet people with similar taste and interact.

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    The idea basically is that if you have work that keeps you at home, choose hobbies that take you out of the house. Make efforts to meet more people and don’t restrict your perspective by staying at home and in front of the computer all the time.

    Vishal P. Rao runs the Work at Home Forum, an online community of those who work from home.

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    Last Updated on April 8, 2019

    22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

    22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

    Unless you’re infinitely rich or prepared to rack up major debt, you need to budget your income. Setting limits on how much you are willing to spend helps control expenses. But what about your time? Do you budget your time or spend it carelessly?

    Deadlines are the chronological equivalent of a budget. By setting aside a portion of time to complete a task, goal or project in advance you avoid over-spending. Deadlines can be helpful but they can also be a source of frustration if set improperly. Here are some tips for making deadlines work:

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    1. Use Parkinson’s Law – Parkinson’s Law states that tasks expand to fill the time given to them. By setting a strict deadline in advance you can cut off this expansion and focus on what is most important.
    2. Timebox – Set small deadlines of 60-90 minutes to work on a specific task. After the time is up you finish. This cuts procrastinating and forces you to use your time wisely.
    3. 80/20 – The Pareto Principle suggests that 80% of the value is contained in 20% of the input. Apply this rule to projects to focus on that critical 20% first and fill out the other 80% if you still have time.
    4. Project VS Deadline – The more flexible your project, the stricter your deadline. If a task has relatively little flexibility in completion a softer deadline will keep you sane. If the task can grow easily, keep a tight deadline to prevent waste.
    5. Break it Down – Any deadline over one day should be broken down into smaller units. Long deadlines fail to motivate if they aren’t applied to manageable units.
    6. Hofstadter’s Law – Basically this law states that it always takes longer than you think. A rule I’ve heard in software development is to double the time you think you need. Then add six months. Be patient and give yourself ample time for complex projects.
    7. Backwards Planning – Set the deadline first and then decide how you will achieve it. This approach is great when choices are abundant and projects could go on indefinitely.
    8. Prototype – If you are attempting something new, test out smaller versions of a project to help you decide on a final deadline. Write a 10 page e-book before your 300 page novel or try to increase your income by 10% before aiming to double it.
    9. Find the Weak Link – Figure out what could ruin your plans and accomplish it first. Knowing the unknown can help you format your deadlines.
    10. No Robot Deadlines – Robots can work without sleep, relaxation or distractions. You aren’t a robot. Don’t schedule your deadline with the expectation you can work sixteen hour days to complete it. Deathmarches aren’t healthy.
    11. Get Feedback – Get a realistic picture from people working with you. Giving impossible deadlines to contractors or employees will only build resentment.
    12. Continuous Planning – If you use a backwards planning model, you need to constantly be updating plans to fit your deadline. This means making cuts, additions or refinements so the project will fit into the expected timeframe.
    13. Mark Excess Baggage – Identify areas of a task or project that will be ignored if time grows short. What e-mails will you have to delete if it takes too long to empty your inbox? What features will your product lack if you need a rapid finish?
    14. Review – For deadlines over a month long take a weekly review to track your progress. This will help you identify methods you can use to speed up work and help you plan more efficiently for the future.
    15. Find Shortcuts – Almost any task or project has shortcuts you can use to save time. Is there a premade library you can use instead of building your own functions? An autoresponder to answer similar e-mails? An expert you can call to help solve a problem?
    16. Churn then Polish – Set a strict deadline for basic completion and then set a more comfortable deadline to enhance and polish afterwards. Often churning out the basics of a task quickly will require no more polishing afterwards than doing it slowly.
    17. Reminders – Post reminders of your deadlines everywhere. Creating a sense of urgency with your deadlines is necessary to keep them from getting pushed aside by distractions.
    18. Forward Planning – Not mutually exclusive with backwards planning, this involves planning the details of a project out before setting a deadline. Great for achieving clarity about what you are trying to accomplish before making arbitrary time limits.
    19. Set a Timer – Get one that beeps. Somehow the countdown of a timer appears more realistic for a ninety minute timebox than just glancing at your clock.
    20. Write them Down – Any deadline over a few hours needs to be written down. Otherwise it is an inclination not a goal. Having written deadlines makes them more tangible than internal decisions alone.
    21. Cheap/Fast/Good – Ben Casnocha in My Start Up Life mentions that you can have only have two of the three. Pick two of the cheap/fast/good dimensions before starting a project to help you prioritize.
    22. Be Patient – Using a deadline may seem to be the complete opposite of patience. But being patient with inflexible tasks is necessary to focus on their completion. The paradox is that the more patient you are, the more you can focus. The more you can focus the quicker the results will come!

    Featured photo credit: Estée Janssens via unsplash.com

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