I Miss Work So Much Right Now

by Apr 26, 2020

Compared to your normal workload, how much work are you doing in quarantine?

One thing I find fascinating about this unusual time is how it affects us all differently. Some people lost their jobs while others have more work to do. Some have more free time to get things done while others find capacity for work greatly reduced because they’re also responsible for childcare or homeschool.

While anyone who keeps a job now is counting their blessings, I think a lot about the parents whose jobs have ramped up at the same time their kids have come home. It’s an inverse relationship: work increases, time to work decreases.

I worry about how this will affect the progress women have made in the workplace; we know mothers carry more of the caretaking and housekeeping burden in normal times, and this exaggerates that systematic shortcoming and the challenges it causes. I’m seeing anecdotes in my Facebook feed from women who are concerned for their jobs because they can’t keep up their pre-pandemic pace with kids at home.

Compared to my normal workload, I’m producing at about 30%. Most of my work is still there, I just don’t have as much time to spend on it, even with a partner who’s doing his share. A lot of my days now are about playing with our kids, walking with them in the woods, making food and doing dishes and cleaning up crumbs. There is so much beauty in that time together, but no extra hours in the day for it.

Because I’m an optimist, I look for silver linings in this reduced work time, and there are a few. I prioritize ruthlessly; I have narrowed my to-do list down to two deliverables I want to complete, and that’s pretty much what I do during my focused work time. Shorter work days have made it easier mentally for me to say “no” to asks from others I don’t have time for.

But I miss my work. I really do. I get energy from building and strategizing and just generally moving forward, and on the days when I don’t feel satisfied with how much I accomplish, I struggle to stay positive.

I miss thinking—the exploring, scheming, dreaming, and writing.

What I crave most isn’t the doing of work, it’s the thinking. The exploring. The scheming. The writing. These activities don’t tend to earn money in the short run; they’re investments in my long-term earning capacity.

So when we first got launched into this new normal, I cut them out. And then I got depressed.

Writing is how I process, how I learn, how I make the next day better than the last. And during an unprecedented experience like this, I found I couldn’t focus on my money-making work until I’d spent a little time writing. I have to clear my brain of the clutter before I can see clearly.

So tell me: Where’s your workload compared to pre-quarantine, and how does that relate to the amount of time and energy you have now?

Leave a comment down below and tell us—what is working for you right now? What isn’t working? How are you dealing with the stay-at-home work orders around the world?

YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY

Creating Outrage As A Marketing Strategy

Creating Outrage As A Marketing Strategy

Over the last week, the internet has popped up loads of articles about influencers behaving badly—in one case, the queen of relatability and toxic positivity shared casual, demeaning remarks about her hired help, then offered a non-apology that involved throwing her own team under the bus, then deleted the bad posts, and—wait for it, I’m sure within the next few days, tears will be next. There will be tears, and a public apology (a “real” one), and a vow to do better. It strikes me that this is strategic, because we’ve seen this playbook before. It’s a marketing strategy, and you’re being played.

read more
Cassandra Speaks: Women and Our Right to A New Form of Power

Cassandra Speaks: Women and Our Right to A New Form of Power

It’s time we talked about what power looks like for women, and how we claim our right to power—specifically a new feminine form of power. For centuries, we’ve told men’s stories, and we’ve told stories about masculine power. That power looks like power over other people, like strength, coercion, domination, and defeat. Women have fought for years to do all the things that men have done, Elizabeth Lesser writes—to vote, to lead, to have sex, to lead universities and companies and societies, to have babies, to leave the house, to leave marriages. But it’s time to move into a new form and vision of power. Here’s what it might look like.

read more
Areas of Control: A Coaching Practice (Plus, Something To Look Forward To) — Episode #172

Areas of Control: A Coaching Practice (Plus, Something To Look Forward To) — Episode #172

In a year with a pandemic, wildfires, the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and more, it can be easy to fall into despair, sadness, or anger. Even if you’re reading this years from now, things can go wrong—and they often do. People pass on, projects go under, businesses are forced to change. Part of the work of being human is reconciling with all that is beyond our control. Here’s a practical exercise to understand what’s within your control, and how to use it.

read more
Running Online Groups and Facilitating Group Experiences — Episode #161 with Tara McMullin

Running Online Groups and Facilitating Group Experiences — Episode #161 with Tara McMullin

A few weeks ago, Tara McMullin invited me onto her podcast to talk at length about mastermind programs—how we run them, what we charge, how they’re organized, how many people are in them, and more. I asked her if I could share the episode with all of you, too, so I’m airing this conversation again on the Startup Pregnant podcast. This episode is a very detailed, behind-the-scenes look at both of our online programs and how we’ve designed our mastermind communities.

read more

Alexis Grant

Founder, The Write Life

Alexis Grant is a media innovator who specializes in the business of content. She led the content division at The Penny Hoarder as Executive Vice President of Content. After joining the company as the third employee, she worked alongside the founder to scale, growing their audience to tens of millions of readers, developing their brand reputation as a leader in media, and building infrastructure to support 100+ employees.

In mid-2019, she exited the fast-growth startup to focus on her own projects, including The Write Life, a media brand she founded in 2013. She's now applying her superpowers around audience growth and monetization while giving herself the flexibility to raise young kids.