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 in 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 your 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.
Man: 164 Loneliness: 31