Day 452: Caring Less

Still sticking it on the food, a bit under-performy on the exercise today but I got it done. Weight is a bit higher than I’d like but the trend line is good.

I have a hard time figuring out sometimes if I care too much about work, care just the right amount about work, or don’t care enough about work.

It seems to hinge on the conflict between understanding that my job is not my life, my employer is not my friend, and the best way I can be of use to an organization is by doing my job to the best of my ability, within the parameters of the job. Extracurricular work and “giving 110%” all the time seems like a great strategy for getting a lot done. But ultimately it leads to personal burnout, which doesn’t help the organization. And it makes the organization dependent on individual goodwill, rather than a solid operational structure, to function. Also not good.

So hanging it up at the end of the day and restricting myself to (mostly) bearing down in the 9-5 structure makes a lot of sense.

But when you’re surrounded by both co-workers and colleagues who are a bit more 24/7 in their approach to work, it’s hard not to feel like you’re slacking. And I do check my email outside of work hours, and I do reply and/or feel some anxiety or aggravation when something comes up.

Obviously this is a ship I need to navigate on my own. I’m extraordinarily fortunate to be in an environment where I and my work are largely appreciated and supported. There’s no “…or you might get fired tomorrow” sweaty-palms incentive to be blasting out emails at midnight. I don’t know how people in at-will states in the U.S. stay sane.

Not really an action item here, just a reminder to myself that work stress is a huge part of life balance, and noodling with how to manage that stress and work-life balance isn’t something to ignore in the grand scheme of things.