Day 195: The Man and the Uncertain Balance; ‘Overworked’

Here’s a question for you:

Would you rather be overworked or under-utilized?

Let’s define these two for clarity and purpose.

Overworked would mean that you are inImage result for sheldon paper gif a situation where you are kept busy but doing
menial tasks. Your day is constantly occupied and engaged, but what you are doing is well below your potential. It’s grunt work. There’s very little time for idleness and because of this you find your days go by quickly.


Under-utilized
would mean that you have found your purpose, recognize yoImage result for overworked gifur strengths, and are tasked with its work. But, either because of supply or demand, you find yourself with plenty of idle time. Maybe you are on a large team, and are lower on the rotation so you are called on less. Or perhaps you are so specialized that the demand is not high enough. When the work comes though it’s all-encompassing and engrossing.

Obviously the ideal situation would be to find a happy medium. A place where you are doing satisfying work and doing it throughout the day. But a lot of times it just doesn’t happen. We miss that sweet spot and find ourselves on either side of the balance board.

I’m sitting here at my desk writing this, realizing that I have so much free time on my hands, and I’m not sure how I feel about that. I do like knowing that every day I am in the office and not on the road training, I have as much time as I may need to plan and create each day’s post. I am at my most consistent when I am grounded. But my boss sits literally across the floor from me, and she must wonder why I am always so busy typing, and yet no emails are going out! Often times with a team of three two of us are at HQ and one is on the road. It’s hard to resist the temptation of idle chatter, but again, I wonder what impression it makes when my boss hears us talking about food or movies or how a truck spilled red Skittles (and only red Skittles) all over the Dodge county highway last night. (This is a true story, btw. And a true conversation.)

When I’m on the road I don’t get much time to write because my day is filled with work and purpose. I then get the luxury of retiring to a quiet empty hotel room and get to write until the late late hours of night. When I’m at HQ I try to fight the idleness by taking walks, or writing, or reading, but I can’t do with too much leisure because inevitably my boss will notice, and then suddenly I am tasked with some ridiculously inane thing like ‘make a PowerPoint presentation that no one will ever actually see, read, or present on how to do x y or z’. And even then I suppose it’s better than us making solid eye contact and watching as the slow realization of ‘why do I pay this man’ crawl across her face. I am under-utilized where I am, and overworked to punish. Hahah.

If we can’t find our perfect spot, which is better to be in then? Do you idle your day away waiting for the moment to shine, or do you engross yourself in other things and ignore the lack of purpose? Is it about waiting for the right opportunity or grabbing every one?

I think the further implications on this one speak for itself. In love, in work, in life. Do we die from waiting or from drowning? I don’t think there’s any one better than the other. It’s a deeply personal question, about what it is that becomes most important to you. To have the right one, or to have any at all. There’s no neat resolution to this. No eureka moment that could promise to tell me or you which ultimately is more worth it. I think it just has to be a part of everyday life, the struggle, the purpose, the journey.

Day 195

Man: 164 Loneliness: 31

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21 thoughts on “Day 195: The Man and the Uncertain Balance; ‘Overworked’

  1. I think I would far rather be under-utilized. I think that as long as I have the opportunity to do things I love and am good at, I would be content with having that come few and far between. Most of my working career I’ve been overworked, (not just during my on the clock time, but off clock as well) and I find it much more exhausting. There’s no sense of accomplishment that way, just another check off another list that will never be completed.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Most of the comments have been for under-utilized. Which I think is really interesting. I wonder if it’s a ‘know your audience’ type of scenario. Writers, more introspective people, they tend to know, or want to search for, their purpose. I think it also goes to ‘why do you work’. Some people can remove ‘accomplishment’ from that list and work just to survive or get by. But when you have a really strong drive or passion, it isn’t enough. Thanks for throwing your two cents in!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What you are defining as under utilized because in that state, at first yes we have what we call idle time, but we soon realise that no time is idle in the sense of wasted. Idle time as in not having anything to do or keep busy gives us the time to spend more time understanding ourselves , life and meditating on many great things to understand things like compassion at a deeper level, for an example. Yes, I know it seems that idle time is bad but nothing is worse than working and not just working as you defined it but when we think we have things to do and we think that they are more important than out spiritual being. This can be small things like thinking that we have to do the laundry and big things like going on a work trip that maybe makes us realise that we would be better off quitting our job and living in an old barn in Iowa. Random examples but I think it gives you a snapshot of my beliefs regarding the two options you put forth.

    Liked by 4 people

    • In a job that is unfulfilling on anything past a professional or financial level, I would prefer overworked as well. If my job does nothing other than to feed me and get by, then at least do me the small mercy of making sure the day goes by quick. Hahah.

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  3. I’m with Emariemon, No time is idle time, lots of people don’t like to stop , they are on the treadmill of life. It’s so liberating to step off and question and find yourself. Be grateful for the idle times because believe it or not that is the real you! Naked…. er no scrap that thought 😳 joking aside it’s you without all the add on’s placed on you by everyday life. ✨

    Liked by 2 people

    • There are some people who I think would be fine, maybe not satisfied, but fine with having been in full motion the entirety of their lives. But you are right, I would not, could not, be one of those people. And I think that’s true for so many of the people here, which is why we find ourselves needing to write and express and investigate to begin with. I will be sure to take a break and step off the treadmill every now and then and strip down to cool off! Hahah.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Resigned from work because I was overworked and not for the reasons I wanted to be, so that’s definitely not the way I want to be living. Even at home I constantly loathe doing stuff that are routinary and do not need to be done at dawn (like cleaning the house. Haha). If faced with the two then, under-utilized is where I’d prefer to be stuck in and besides, given the course I took and the kind of job I might get when I graduate, I probably would be. Accounting stuff is not that busy after all, if you do it right. It only gets busy during deadlines and reportmaking. As to the drowning vs. waiting, that’s actually a nice thing to ponder on. I actually did ponder over it the whole day before commenting. Hahah. I definitely don’t see myself dying from the drowning, but as things are in my life, I know I am. I’m an impatient person, as my friends would call me. But I actually am good at waiting. And I realized, it’s a sad thing… to be good at waiting. I’m all messed up thinking here. I wait, but I take risks. Hahah. Thank for the idea. Another cool thing to ponder on.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Two of my friends are accountants. End of the month is always a terrible time for them. But for the rest of the month it’s fine, and starting around May, like right after tax season here, I even get to go out for lunch every now and then with one of them because she works right by me. Any other time though? She’s too locked up. Glad you found plenty to think about from my post and thanks for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I remember that. You said two of your bestfriends are. Yep! End of the month are deadlines and especially tax season! Accountants rarely sleep during those times! Too much paperwork and numbers! Hahah. In the short time I’ve been working at my previous job, I noticed I get busy every end of the month, quarterly end and year-end. 🙂
        AND YEAH! Still mulling over the drowning vs waiting. But I guess it’s good I have distractions to keep me from being too depressed from the question. Hahah. 2017 A.O!!

        Liked by 1 person

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