Sometimes doing more with less means you end up with less.

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.

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Sometimes doing more with less means you end up with less.

  1. Perfectly said, Jess (as I work on a psych report at 8:40 p.m….clearly I feel like I have “less” tonight ). I think I will follow your example tomorrow evening and only worry about going to Zumba. The report writing can wait. :o)

  2. Well put, Jess. More and more work piles up every day. Most days I cannot find my desk beneath the paperwork that covers it. Some days I can barely find my keyboard beneath the mess and some days I barely even see the inside of my office. Tonight, I’ve written a letter of recommendation for a technician who wants to go to grad school, placed some orders, and I’m about to sift through the legalese in two contracts to figure out how to not invalidate the current contract and still be able to purchase the software that the lab needs. Three pressing deadlines (and a bit of other drama) forced us to postpone our trip to Upper Michigan to spend Christmas with my dad for the first time in 13 or 14 years. When does life slow down enough for us to jump off for a few minutes to relax. I’m glad that you and Bear put together the puzzle. 🙂 Tomorrow night I hope to play my flute or my tin whistle….

  3. Jess…you couldn’t be more correct. Believe me, the puzzle is way more important than the paperwork. For that matter, so is a glass of wine and a little peace and quiet.

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