This week I am working from home and that is because we are re-locating our offices. Today marks the third day I’m doing this and I am just now getting the hang of it. All my life I have a been a full-time employee, thriving within an corporate environment. My day used to feel structured . I would wake up , shower, get dressed, go to work, work from 9 to 5 and then, I would get on with my life after 5. So, last Sunday when I woke up and found that this sense of structure did not exist, I felt so lost.
I found myself late for everything. I had a Toastmasters meeting at 6: 30 which I arrived to at 6:55. I wrote my Faces post at 5 pm instead of the night before, and throughout that day I couldn’t stop myself from daydreaming. By Monday, things slowly but surely started taking shape. I woke up, and two hours later I was working. The temptation to just flip through the channels on TV was too strong but it didn’t happen. But by Tuesday, the third day I’m at it, I found that I got used to it. I started enjoying it. I found that I like the feeling of being free during the day. I liked seeing the daylight. I also enjoy having the option of going out and then coming back to work. More importantly, I loved the feeling of not feeling rushed. Now, my dilemma is different. You see, I don’t want to like this arrangement too much because by next week I will have to go back into the office, work full time, and adapt to my old ways.
However, I learned in these three days a very important lesson. I learned that we don’t need to feel stressed in order to produce good work. I found that the sense of loss I felt on the first day of this new arrangement is only the product of a corporate world where we are taught that if things are not rushed, then we are not working hard enough. The sad thing is that there is nothing really wrong with slowing down.
We shouldn’t blame ourselves for believing so but rather we should blame a society that taught us that we need to work 16 hours a day to feel productive when in reality we can work for just five. We don’t have to be busy to be important and we don’t have to repeat the words crises, urgent, and critical when we describe our work just so that we feel like we are working on something of value. We can work on something that isn’t a crisis, a critical issue, or urgent and it can still be of value.
Maybe we don’t see this because we are just too pre-conditioned to stress out and we equate the feeling of stress with significant, when in reality our self worth should not be the product of stress. Let’s just learn to relax while we work and see what happens.
Food for thought.