Friday, May 12, 2006

Working life

Long before I started writing this blog I had a hard time getting work done at work. I fuss and avoid and feel guilty and it goes on and on with no improvement.

It's not that I don't get anything done. I do. But the bare minimum. Whatever I do, I do well, but I rarely do more than is required. Oh, I never turn down assignments, but I don't go looking for anything either--except maybe the occasional training or conference.

At the beginning of the year, I vowed to do better. I filled up my social calendar. I started going to the gym again. But work? I wasn't improving. I started missing deadlines. I played fast and loose with my arrival times. Once, I caused my boss quite a lot of consternation by my late arrival and nearly missed an important meeting.

As you know, a mere three weeks ago, I started rowing again. It's had the following side effects:
  1. Extreme tiredness
  2. Shoulder pain
  3. Bruises in odd places
  4. Enjoyment
And most surprisingly of all: improved efficiency at work.

I don't get it. Less free time, aches, pains and tiredness cause me to work more efficiently?

Hrm. What's wrong with me?

I need purpose and expectations. And rowing gives me both. So does the blog, but the blog has no time requirements. It can be written at any time, in any place. I can do it quickly, or spend hours fine tuning a single post (yes, it happens).

I tend to stay late at the office--until 7 or maybe even 7:30. Later than necessary, even given my late arrival times.

What was I doing all that time?


The day would stretch out and I might get one tiny thing done. I'd think, "I have plenty of time. I'll get to it later." And it would get later and later and I still would have done nothing.

What is different now? I HAVE to leave the office by 6pm. No fooling around. Work must cease at a specific time. I can't stretch out the day anymore. I start planning the night before. I pack my bag with a change of clothes. I make sure the crappy bike light is charged and that the tires are fully inflated.

At work, I made a list of everything I need to do. I resolved to do at least one or two things a day. In a week, I cut the list in half. I'm still not the most eager worker in the world and I don't find the work particularly stimulating, but it's just not that hard. All I have to do is DO IT.

I didn't row this week, because I wanted to give my knee a chance to heal after playing too much ultimate frisbee on Sunday. Sadly, this has caused some backsliding at work. My list of tasks is still shrinking, but I'm getting to the office later (9:30 instead of 9) and I'm lingering around past 6:30 for no good reason. Hopefully, when I get back to rowing on Monday, I'll perk up again and finish all the annoying tasks that I've been faithfully and consistently avoiding for ages. My knee just has to cooperate. Please, knee, you can do it!

Grateful for: purpose.

Drop me a line.

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