Working Hard Or Hardly Working

26 Jun

In high school when we had to run the mile I loved taking off early on and trying to win for a little while before taking a break about a half a lap later and having everyone pass me. Perhaps this was because my speed only lasted for so long. But it’s also a metaphor for life. I would much rather work hard for a shorter amount of time and then quit than sit around for hours on end accomplishing stuff but not at a fast pace. 

I was talking with a friend last week about a friend of hers who had a job that required her to be at work for fourteen hours a day. Within those fourteen hours, she also ate twice, went to the gym, dropped off her dry cleaning, and took care of a long list of other activities. The reality is that she was still trapped at work for fourteen hours! This is not my cup of tea. 

I prefer to work really hard, accomplish some big tasks, and then take a break. Each day I usually create a short list of 3-5 tasks that would make the day a success and then just try to knock them out first. These have to be larger tasks (showering, though important, does not count) for this system to work such as writing a talk or contacting a large list of people. Usually, if I can stay on task and focus on a few major goals, it works really well. Once the big ones are done polishing up the other more minor items such as emptying the dishwasher or sending my boss a quick email seem much easier. 

This can also work for longer periods of time, for instance this week. It’s Thursday afternoon and I’m about done for the week. I’ve gotten a good bit done by working hard (kinda hard, let’s be honest) and now it’s about time to hit the hardly working portion of the week. Dawn’s mom and brother Jeff are coming in about two hours to take us out to dinner somewhere fun, should be great to spend the evening with them. Then tomorrow morning my dad is arriving for a day of kayaking. My guess is that he has never done this before though I imagine he’s done something similar, it’s really just paddling a boat. Tomorrow evening we head out to my mom’s house on the lake with two friends for what promises to be an excellent weekend. Hardly working here I come. 

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