How is Learning to Ride a Bike Like Working from Home?

Sitting in North Boulder Park, I watched a dad teach his son, Joey, how to ride a 2-wheeler. Dad started guiding Joey down the hill, let go when it appeared Joey was balanced, and off Joey went for about 10 feet before he toppled over. “You did it,” hollered dad. “Soon you’ll be riding around the whole park,” big sister Kate encouraged him.

I overheard dad giving Joey a pep talk about balance. Then, Joey gave it a few more tries before he felt deflated and decided he was ready to call it quits for the day. Little did he know, he wasn’t done with his lesson yet.

He ran around the park playing tag with his sister and before too long I heard dad say, “Come on Joe, let’s show Kate what you can do on that bike. Ride a little bit more and then we’ll go to Wreck-It Ralph.”

It was at that moment, I thought “A-HA – business is like learning to ride a bike, especially when you’re working from home. Sometimes, I start a project, make some strides, but after a couple of hours I start to fade. Do you know what I mean?

I used to beat myself up and say “come on, you’ve got to get this done, don’t stop.” However, I discovered that doesn’t inspire me – it stresses me. I need to walk away from the computer, take a break, re-energize and then, “get back on the bike” like Joey.

And, like dad did with Joey, it’s also a good idea to reward myself. “When you get XYZ done today, you can go Wreck-It Ralph, later” (I love movies, but I’d probably pick something other than Wreck-It Ralph).

I watched Joey with a smile as the memory of my dad teaching me how to ride my gold & white 2-wheeler popped into my mind. I started with “training wheels” (remember those?), but I think it was harder learning with those than without them.

As I’m reminiscing, I hear “OMG! Joey,” as sister Kate yells out with glee. Joey has had a rather long, successful stretch riding on his own accord. “The goal is to keep the bike balanced,” says dad again. “I was balanced,” said Joey. “Yeah & you did so well,” dad confirms.

Joey did it and three people watching him, myself included, cheer and applaud him. Sister Kate runs up and gives him a big bear hug. Not only will he get the reward of Wreck-It Ralph, he got the positive feedback from his dad, sister and the joyful spectators in the park. I suspect next time I’m in the park, I’ll see Joey riding around all on his own.

It’s a beautiful moment when you achieve your goals. If you’re working from home and have a burnout moment – working too long on one project – give yourself a break. Re-energize and reward yourself for the steps you have taken. Then, “get back on the bike.”

What works for you when you’re working at home? Do you set a timer? Reward yourself? Please share your thoughts. I’d love to hear your ideas. Thanks.