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January 17, 2021 9:26 AM

How to not work so much

This past week at work, I felt like I was running around like crazy. And I mean literally running. I've been working at my aunt's house, so I don't really have a designated working area. Sometimes I have a meeting where I need it to be a little more quiet, and I don't realize it until a minute before the meeting starts and I'm like "Shit!" and I run from room to room just to make sure I'm set up correctly.

So, it was Friday afternoon, probably around 5:30pm, when my friend pings me:

friend: you work too much

me: i know i do

This is not the first time she has told me I work too much. I tell her the same thing all the time. But it hit differently this time. I always have a reason for why work is so busy. But you know what? Work is not going to get any less busy. I told myself I would work less this year. It was even in my end-of-year performance review that I'm always swamped and have too much on my plate. But with the way things are going, I don't see 2021 going any differently than 2020.

I told my mom this. Her reaction? "You like work! Nothing wrong with that! That's just life!" Okay, not helpful mother. But then again, my mother also works a lot. My father works a lot. I am both my mother's and father's daughter. And so is my sister, and we're all a bunch of sleep deprived workaholics. I honestly don't know how to work less. Yeah, I could take vacation, but that only helps when I'm on vacation. I get back to work and I go from 0 to 100 almost immediately. I need to achieve work/life balance again.

So, I needed real, practical advice. I asked friends and other family, and this is what I got:

Okay. A lot of this was easier before the pandemic. But it's still going to be a socially distant 2021, so I gotta make this work with the pandemic.