Monday, September 13, 2010

Work and Boundaries

I have got to draw boundaries at work.

Work is rapidly coming to consume my daily existence. Without trying, I spend 9-10 hours day there - plus commute (and the longer I work, the longer I the commute).

This is the first job I've had this issue with. Before, I set my boundaries clearly: 8 hours, 30 minutes for lunch then out the door. But at this job, I seem to have created my own issue. Initially I worked longer because I wanted to make a good impression and I was living here on my own. Then, we got issued the order that someone would stay until 6; rather than switch out, I just started staying 12 hours every 6 weeks. Then things started coming at the last minute which those in power above me demanded be done "now".

What happens? One loses their incentive to hold to the 8 hour day, since it really doesn't matter anyway.

But it does matter. I've realized that my productivity has gone down a great deal. Why? There's no incentive to accomplish in 8 what you're expected to do in 10. Suddenly time is not a currency, it's a commodity, something which seems beyond your power to control.

The results? More time at work, more time commuting, less happiness, less family time, greater sense of job frustration and most ironically of all, lesser ability to do my job. By time not being a currency, it becomes much more difficult to discern and complete the most important tasks.

So that has to change.

Starting today, it's time to change. Time to reclaim my life (and maybe my sanity?). Time to tell work "I do 8 hours of work a day - real work, not time serving on premises. I will work on the most critical tasks. I will meet my timelines. But my life is not yours."

It's time to start making time a currency once more.

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