I had a couple of clients (rightly) tell me off this week because schedules had slipped and this wasn’t communicated as well as it could have been. I only have myself to blame, and I don’t mind being honest about it. I should have better anticipated the impact of the summer holidays and time off on my workload and adjusted my schedule (and as such, client expectations) to suit.
Still, knowing and accepting where I went wrong doesn’t stop me from taking the kick up the arse personally. When a client wants more or wants something faster, I assume I’m not doing a good enough job. If I can’t deliver above and beyond expectations then I’m failing.
It’s hard not to take it personally: after all, my work is a huge part of who I am. Lots of people work their 9-5 and go home, but not only have I built my identity on what I do over the past 15 years, but I work well into the evenings, organise life around work (rather than the other way around) and all from 2ft from my bed now, which makes it really hard to detach even when I want to without literally leaving the house.
Sometimes I wonder if I should be more rigid and stick to socially acceptable working hours, but I’m not sure that would stop me taking it personally when things go wrong. And after all, if I’m personally invested in a project I have a reason to put 110% into it, making it the best it could possibly be.
Or that’s what I tell myself, anyway.