Today, I came armed and prepared for work. I had my pick of poison: Hazelnut milk tea instead of coffee. I had my choice of music: Eclectic / varying songs. (See my current Spotify playlist here.) And I had a satisfying meal before starting work. Japanese rice and sliced chicken with tarragon sauce, if you even care to know.
We all have days in the office like these ones: Days when your to-do list outlined in both notebook AND Excel file seem like a never-ending story. Days when it feels like no matter how many things you have done, it still doesn’t feel like you’ve done enough. Days when spending some time chatting and laughing with friends feel like such a sin.
How do you know when you have been working too much without even being aware that you are working too much?
In hindsight, I think that if you are working too much then you’ll probably be in denial about that. Now that my own workload has become manageable again, it’s easy to sit comfortably and look back at those days when I was hunched over my desk, fingers click-clacking on the keyboard as I try to juggle tasks and projects. It’s now easy to see those foolish, funny things that I have done in those maddening times of desperately wanting to finally finish those tasks and projects. Read on. (Spoiler: I have the feeling you can relate to at least one item in this list. OH I REALLY DO THINK.)
1. You have a conversation with yourself. Out loud. And you either talk about work or something totally irrelevant when you do.
2. You do not stand up from your desk for three hours.
3. Your eyes feel like they are rubbed with sandpaper and then left to hang dry because, you know, you have been staring at the screen for more than an hour. Straight.
4. You spend what’s left of your lunch break at your desk. Or…
5 .You spend your lunch break at your desk. Or worse…
6. You take your lunch break an hour or two later than usual.
7. You multitask the crap out of today’s to-do list. And it seems like SUCH an awesome idea, except…
8. In the middle of finishing a task, you pause. Then you stare at your computer’s monitor, baffled. Because you suddenly forget what you are working on. It’s that Ten Second Tom moment. AGAIN.
9. You sacrifice your bathroom breaks in order to solve or fix an issue or cross off an item or two or three or 569165 from your to-do list.
10. Finally, you get home and the first thing you do is dive under the covers and sleep. Just like that. The adage “Home sweet home!” has never rung truer than that moment.