What are you working towards?
My boss sent me this link and it made me think about work.
Work can kill you by Steve Tobak. The article starts out with “punch the clock and play hard”. Then evolve into “work hard”. Then his personal life falls apart and he “gets some perspective”. I’ve read this story many times. During the dot com days I was working crazy because the energy was intense. But then I read “The Monk and The Riddle” and was done with that. And we moved to Oregon. Got a job at a small company. Felt like I was more in control of my own destiny. My new job allowed me to on a daily basis make a contribution to the whole team. The pressure was totally different and exhilarating. But I found that the more you put into something the more you need to get out of it. After 4 years it got old not because I was tired, but because I had set the bar high and felt like I could not regulate expectations. I was also feeling like every day was turning into the same routine.
So I quit and took a job with a big company. The focus of my job is to constantly learn new things and share them with developers. I have grand aspiration to do more. I think that the whole team does. We spend a lot of time teaching each other and talking directly with customers. My boss motivates me to do more but also take pride in what we’ve done both as individual and as a team.
I’m able to take time off and unplug for a few days here and there to focus on life’s other distractions. I’m just coming off a week off with my parents and it gave me time to reflect on my focus on work. As I start to reengage I’m going to abandon a few projects and focus on the highest value activities. I need to delegate more and micro manage less. Also I need to say no a little more so that I can say yes to the important stuff.
The one thing that I’m going to continue to have to deal with is email. If any of you have any ideas for how to spend less time with email please let me know. I took a week off and have about 300 emails to read. As I read it more comes in. Ideas are welcome.
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