Yesterday during my orientation, a professor recited a quote that he often tells his undergraduate business students…something along the lines of “If you are on top of your work and feel that you have done it all right, you are on your way to being fired.” Of course, the undergrads didn’t quite believe the words of this wise man and it makes sense because this generation of college students are SO efficient that it wouldn’t surprise me if they got everything done (and done perfectly)…but for my sake, I hope it’s true.
Up until recently, I had a wonderful weekday morning routine…get into work at 7:30ish, grab a coffee, change out of whatever comfortable shoes I was wearing into some more professional (but less comfortable) footwear, and then proceed to check Facebook, Thought Catalog, Yahoo, Gmail, and the New York Times (all in that order). By the time 8am rolled around, I had read and forwarded a few inspirational Thought Catalog articles to my roommates, read the latest celebrity gossip and promptly texted Lans about it (Chris Brown’s neck tattoo…you heard it here first), was mostly up to speed on my world news, and had sort of replied to my personal e-mails while getting distracted by online sales at Bloomingdales. Within the past few weeks, everything changed. Even with grad school a month away, I was getting to the office earlier than usual, skipping my morning ritual (except for the coffee and shoes part), and diving right into my piles of work until around 6 or 7pm when I would start to see spots and go home…to answer a few more emails before bed. In a nutshell, if I cloned myself and added another 24 hours to each day, I would probably still feel incredibly behind (and I’m not even talking about my personal life!)…so if my professor is right, at least I have some job security? (I’m still looking for those extra hours in the day. Lans and I are convinced that we left them in Vegas…or the old and moldy lost hours are what is making our fridge smell).
I can’t tell if this was intentional or a coincidence but this afternoon, my boss made a point to tell me how I should protect my time outside of work, especially since my “free time” will soon be replaced with group projects, classes, and exams. I’m sure my boss had seen the occasional e-mail I reply-all’ed to on the weekend or after 10pm, but I was hoping that she would see and appreciate my dedication, especially as my review is less than a month away. Even though I sometimes suffer from the “Capability Penalty” (doing so well and working so hard that you are given more and more work and responsibility to the point of a panic attack) and thought that doing work tonight would take some of the edge off, I decided to blog instead…because it makes me happy and I enjoy it. The moral of my story is still a bit unclear but if you take only one thing away, take away this…
Don’t lose sight of the things that you love, even if you feel like you’re drowning in the corporate pool. If your life and happiness suffer, your work will suffer too. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still be back at work by 6:30am tomorrow but tonight, I put my fuzzy socked foot down and it felt AMAZING!