Confessions of a workaholic: When the 9-5 becomes a disaster
For months at a time now, my 9-5 was quite the rewarding experience as I saw the pages I manage online blossom into a satisfying thrill at the end of each day, but then again, honestly speaking, it was never really a 9-5, I think it was the beyond the 9-5 that actually mattered. I was willing to invest in what I believe in, after work hours, checking in on work before I go to sleep, as soon as I wake up during the weekends and most of all I didn’t have to do it from the office, I did it from home or whenever I had access to internet, to me being connected online is all I needed to produce efficiently regardless of the physical space.
Then it hit me, I hate my 9-5, it’s so annoying, restricting, I look around and people are loud, I try to focus and it gets louder and my stupid work laptop doesn’t have support for sound so I end up aggravated, wasting four hours to create a report that would take two. How do I spend eight hours in front of a computer every day listening to same muffled sounds in the background of annoying people chattering away, all while losing ability to concentrate effectively within the first few hours of the day? I know one thing for sure, I am a workaholic, I have been for the past five years, and the fact that I stopped isn’t because being addicted to work was wrong, it was because I simply am not enjoying what I do anymore.
My 9-5 in cubicle nation is disappointing to my productivity levels, seeing as I know I can produce a lot, and if anything I am grateful to the fact that I still manage to meet all deadlines, and that my superiors are happy with the work I deliver, but what is it about knowing that I can be more efficient and better at what I do that I can’t quite grasp yet? Have I let go of my passion because the corporate world was too much? Or has the corporate world failed my expectations because I expected it to be a more gratifying experience yet I have learned that working for a small business is pretty much the same level but with less people and less drama?
See the problem with a 8 hour work day is that when you start a new job you are excited about it, when you have a job that isn’t stuck behind a desk 8 hours a day 40 hours a week you tend to look forward to producing more, possibly because of the constant change of scenery that I have enjoyed over the past years then I made a decision, a career change that I knew would change my life. I don’t regret it, but I regret allowing myself to being sucked into such a routine, because I feel that it’s killing me slowly. My frustration levels have gone higher, I am becoming impatient by the day, and while I don’t exactly snap at anyone at work, I actually take it out on everyone in my life after work hours lashing about this and that and how I was unable to grasp the little details that make a difference because I cannot produce effectively anymore.
To me an 8 hour work day makes more sense when it comes to physical labor or manufacturing, but with office workers, like myself my tasks usually include creativity and critical thinking, which I can’t do when everyone around me won’t hush the hell up, and to me, I think the way I respond to an email or an inquiry in a tweet or a Facebook page in a community that I manage depends on my mood and well my mood doesn’t really depend on the outer world of my work like as I usually leave all un-related work issues at the door when I walk into the office, however it depends on my mental capacity of handling stuff depending on the comfort zone of your work space and the resources that make your 9-5 more comfortable and worthwhile. Although I have been telling myself that I have been a night owl for years at a time now, and I believe that I produce best at night, I have realized that I have two work peaks throughout the day; my most productive period is the beginning of the day. People are capable of creative tasks like writing and solving complex technical problems. After a couple hours of intense work, energy levels drop and workers downgrade to less demanding tasks like responding to email and tinkering with existing creations. Towards the end of the cycle, the mind is so cluttered and drained that workers resort to “work related activities” that appear productive but don’t contribute to the bottom line. The afternoon cycle is similar but the productivity peak isn’t as high
So is this considered slacking off work if you can only produce effectively for a few hours of your 8 hour work cycle? I honestly highly doubt it, it’s just putting your efficiency into numbers, and how much can you produce in a certain number of hours and how well you can deliver that production. You just can’t be highly productive because you’re mentally fatigued, but you can’t recharge because the 8 hour work day requires the appearance of constant productivity. The result? Well in my life, being stuck in a cubicle thinking that I’d rather be anywhere but here.
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