This was a brief conversation I had with a coworker today.
I work for the public school system where we live. I am very grateful to have a job and to not have to worry about money like so many people in the area.
With that being said, it seems that every year we are asked to do more and more with less and less. We lost positions in the system last year, and everyone has more on their plates. The coworker I was speaking with said that she used to be able to get it all done, and now she can’t. She figured it was just because she was “getting old”….but I don’t think that’s it. I think that people are being expected to do more than they can reasonably handle. And so, we are getting…..less. Less done in a day, less satisfaction, less innovation.
I know I feel it in my job this year. I certainly can’t get everything done in a day, and I feel like there are more “loose ends” than I’ve ever had before. Others I work with are feeling the same, from the secretaries to the teachers to the custodians to the principal. Too much work, not enough hands to do it. Friends that work in other fields are experiencing the same.
Not only does this problem stress everyone out, it essentially eliminates any time for reflection. This lack of time to reflect means that everyone’s energy is spent just trying to stay afloat, and time for improving at our actual jobs is nonexistent. Unless, of course, you are like Martha Stewart and only need 4 hours of sleep per night. (Side note: I don’t believe Martha when she makes that ridiculous claim. She needs more sleep than that per night…..she just isn’t getting it…..) I, on the other hand, need at least 7 1/2 hours to be functional, and really would love to have 9 1/2 hours a night. (Oh, that’s funny. 9 1/2 hours of sleep. In one night. As if.)
So how do we all keep going in these stressful times? I think at some point one has to decide that good enough really IS good enough, and leave work at the door. I have a pile of work that I brought home yesterday. It’s still there. Why? Bear asked me to do one of the puzzles she received as a birthday gift with her after dinner, and I decided that was more important tonight.
The work will still be there in the morning. My sweet Bear will only be 5 for a brief time, and will only be interested in spending time with Mommy for so long.
That, friends, is how I’m dealing with doing more with less. And tonight, I feel like I have more.