What is work?

When does work start, when does it end? Is life compartmentalized into “work” and “play”? I mean, apart from private “downtime”, of course, which is nobody’s business. But what about thinking, reading, talking, surfing?

When I’m surfing, am I doing so as a private individual or as a business woman? This blog is a product, too, even if it’s free. Oh, there must be a way to tell if it’s work or a hobby. Maybe there’s a special part of my brain that lights up when it’s work, and another when I’m just fooling around. Right? Rrrright.

I remember the definition of work in physics is the amount of energy transferred by a force acting through a distance. So work is whatever it takes to get the job done. Only, friends, what exactly is “the job”? For a freelancer in language services, “the job” is a series of projects, and nobody knows exactly what “the job” will be tomorrow. It might build on whatever I am fooling around with on the side today. Frankly, I don’t mind as long as I’m having fun … and as long as I can claim tax exemptions 😉

Do these questions puzzle you, too?

Published by

Anne

Teaching English for business communication skills, writing online for learners, translating, sailing whenever I can, from Washington, D.C.

2 thoughts on “What is work?”

  1. Hi there Anne on a Friday evening,

    This sure is ‘downtime’ not worktime – there’s sort of no official beginning or end, the adrenaline level is low and it’s all cosy just checkin’ things out on the internet.
    Worktime on the other hand, has a finite beginning and end – even as a freelance there’s a deadline when something has to be done by a certain time – whether it’s preparation or the actual time spent with the ‘client’, ‘customer’, ‘student’ or whatever we want to call that person. And, most improtant of all – the adrenaline level has to be high!

    Happy weekend, Joan

  2. Hi Joan,
    That’s a clear definition. But you know what they say about football “Nach dem Spiel ist vor dem Spiel.” I guess you have to really make the break long enough, and definite enough, to get that adrenalin all the way down, otherwise you just get stressed out.
    Thanks for writing and have a nice, low adrenalin evening! :)
    Anne

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