Hopefully, everyone who celebrates Memorial Day Weekend had a lovely one, and there are bank holiday weekends for everyone else either just passed or quickly coming up!
That brings up the question of “summer hours.”
When I worked in theatre, there was no such thing, unless I was working on a particular summer season, where the work intensified, rather than rolled back.
When I worked for a publishing company, most people took off by 12 or 1 PM on Fridays (many took the Hampton Jitney out). Support staff/admin people usually stayed until 3 or so, and there were early happy hours all over the city.
As a freelancer, I spent far too many years overworking. And summer hours weren’t an option.
I intend to change that.
In the Women Write Change group, the concept of “summer hours” came up. Some are taking Fridays off. Others take Mondays off from client work to do other writing projects. When I worked in theatre, Monday was usually the dark day, so Mondays feel more natural to me, but my inbox is usually quite stuffed from not looking at email over the weekend.
I’ve found my brain naturally checking out by about noon on Fridays since mid-winter.
I live on the second floor of a restored historic house in a small city in the Berkshires. There’s no air conditioning in the building, and it can get HOT in the summer. The ceiling fans and other fans help, but it gets hot.
Something I started doing last summer was taking longer mid-day breaks, which has evolved into the whole Taking Longer Lunch Breaks that I talked about on this site a few weeks back. I made like a European and took a big chunk of the afternoon off, and then, when it cooled down, worked in the evenings.
This summer, I’m going to try a mix of things. I plan to work longer hours, taking the Midday Heat Break as necessary, from Mondays through Thursdays, so that I can stop client work by noon on most Fridays. There’s flexibility in this, because if I take a day off midweek for whatever reason, I may have to work through Friday and into the weekend.
That’s one of the things I love about the freelance life – as long as I meet my deadline, I choose which hours to work on which projects.
There’s a lovely lake about ¾ of a mile from the house, and I intend to spend a good portion of sunny days there. Chances are I won’t drag the laptop up there, but I may take the Kindle or the tablet up and do some work lakeside. Writing in longhand is also an option, as is editing on hard copy.
That is the plan. However, we all know the best plans going awry, and all that.
I will let you know how it goes. Are you making adjustments for your summer schedule? What are they? How do you decide your summer hours?
2 thoughts on “Summer Hours”
I’ve started to finish earlier on a Friday, so we can do the weekly shopping and have a takeaway for tea, and thus freeing up the weekend to do something fun. However, best laid plans and all that – as you say – this hasn’t happened for the past few weeks. I intend for it to start to happen again from next week. I already take weekends and public holidays off, so I don’t feel deprived, unless I’m very busy either because of my own fault or technology. I can only finish at midday if I crack on and move my client work earlier in the week, so I aim at about 3pm to finish.
It makes such a positve difference, doesn’t it?
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