Bedtime Chicken

Lately, my husband and I have been playing a game of chicken. It goes like this: Both of us say that we want to go to bed earlier, but then as evening progresses, we each keep on working and wait for the other to blink first. Finally when it is well past our target time, one of us turns off the computer and heads upstairs and the other follows. Result? If anything, our bedtime has actually gotten later over the past month, even though we have started getting up earlier (FIVE AM!) to go to the gym.

So what gives?

Part of the explanation is epitomized by Jerry Seinfeld”s Night Guy/Day Guy routine. My nighttime self takes over, and I decide to keep working late even though I know I’ll be tired tomorrow. (My  nighttime self used to be more fun, keeping me out for one more round of drinks on a weeknight and damn the consequences …. Ah, those were the days!)

But more importantly, the evening is our one open-ended time of the day. Nowhere we have to be. No interruptions. Quiet. We actually have adequate time and attention to complete a task, rather than squeezing it into our crowded daily schedules. This unbounded time is essential to doing some of the strategic and creative thinking that is required for building my business. I need this time.

But at the same time,  lack of boundaries around my work is what got me into this fix in the first place — exhausted and not spending enough quality time with my husband. So I need to create reasonable boundaries that allow for a block of concentrated time while protecting my sleep. So this week I will set a boundary of 9:30 to stop work at the computer (regardless of what Reece is doing).  Wish me luck.

How are you doing with setting boundaries around work? What are the easiest ones to create and maintain, and where do they break down?

Gotta go. It’s 9:29!