Over the years, I have gained a bit of a reputation as a workaholic; one of the traits I unfortunately inherited from my father. With everything that has gone on over the last two months, that trait has only been reinforced.

However, I am looking to change that as much as I can.

What has made this difficult has been the changes to my work-life over the last few months. As I have said in previous columns, I am currently working from home during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

With this going on, for lack of a better term, I have brought work home with me in a very literal sense. With that in mind, I have found it difficult to sometime disconnect the two. When the office is your own home, at times the two can blend in to each other.

With that in mind, I have started trying to turn off work mode as much as I can at the end of the work day, and have set schedules as much as I can. Let me tell you, in this profession that isn’t easy.

One of the hardest parts is telling myself to stop. During off hours, it can be difficult to not immediately jump at the phone any time it rings, much like Batman does at the Bat Signal. Even this week, I found myself taking a call well after hours that ended up being a legitimate call for help.

It was with that in mind that I decided to not work at all during Memorial Day. Even during my days off, I constantly catch myself doing little things: checking email, sending work-related messages.

It becomes part of the routine. However, routines can change.

Michael Hutchins is the local government reporter for the Herald Democrat. He can be reached at mhutchins@heralddemocrat.com.