You know what, all you avid LLTO followers? I’ve been really struggling to find the time to write a blog post this week. The big project I am managing went live last week and so this week I am dealing with a myriad of post-go-live tasks. And in case that wasn’t enough to be dealing with, I have a team of auditors in the office this week investigating the intimate details of the system I manage. Hours and hours straight of meetings conducted 100% in French. Oh… and did I mention that my work inbox is currently at this number???
Meanwhile, on the personal front things have been hectic too… our small, one bedroom apartment has been host to 4 residents for the last 5 days. And there have been the accompanying tour guide duties. And let’s not even start to think about the number of unanswered emails to be found between my personal Gmail, Hotmail and Facebook inboxes.
Between my work and personal commitments, I simply have no time for myself at the moment. No time to stop and take a moment to relax. No time to actively decide to do something I enjoy. My life is one series of “Oh, I have to do this” or “Oh, I should have done that”. Proactivity is a foreign concept to me right now. Reactivity is they key.
Clearly this is not ideal or healthy in the long-term. I realise that I have to hit the stop button at some point. But workplaces seem to expect more and more of us these days. Concerns that we are not able to perform all that is required of us often fall on deaf ears. As PerfectlyRandom has pointed out, the emails don’t stop coming. And neither do the expectations. It’s our job to make sure we stay afloat.
So what do we cut out? An email here to this friend, a text to another? The weekly call to my family? It’s true that the more communicating I do at work, the less I feel like doing when I get home. After spending all day on the computer answering emails, scheduling meetings and making phone calls, the last thing I want to do when I get home is turn on the computer to answer my personal mails or pick up the phone to have a conversation with a friend or my family.
As much as I know deep down that these interactions will be rewarding, I often just don’t have it in me by the end of the day to face more computer. I am, quite simply, technologied-out. And so it seems that, slowly but surely, work is winning. It’s squeezing out its enemy, my personal life, and taking supremacy in the battle for sole possession of all my available brain space. The scales are tilting and work is weighing in higher.
The biggest problem with work and life falling out of balance is that it often happens before you realise it. At the start of this year I was unemployed and had been for a significant amount of time. Life well and truly held the balance of power. Within the space of less than 9 months, the balance has shifted completely. And I didn’t see it happening.
The good news is that I absolutely do not intend to sit back and allow this change to take hold uncurbed. I will simply put work back in the 8 hour a day box where it belongs and get the rest of my life back. It will be easy, right? And it won’t take long. In fact, I’ve got so much confidence that the whole thing will be a walk in the park that I’ll start next week. Yes, I’ll have more time next week. Definitely next week…