Yes I know it sounds so pathetically no life, but it is true. Ever since I started making a serious attempt to go off at a not-too-late timing, I find myself stressed up the whole day trying to clear my emails and stay on top of things. Whereas I can actually clear backlogs, dig out evidence to justify my actions and basically clear up and prevent shit from escalating when I’m required to work late, such as when I’m to meet Sunshine for dinner and she ends up working later than most of my colleagues.
Back in the past when I was prepared to work late and finish my tasks, the sense of achievement was what made the tiredness worth it. Along the way, it just didn’t make sense to be putting in the extra work when slackers need not be accountable for their work and still got about as well compensated as the hardworking. And getting a life is suddenly so much more important when viewed in this perspective. Just do what you can within the working hours and get out of office and try to do something that is not work-related. Except that the spectre of the looming deadlines haunt me even when I get home. Takes all the joy out of going home not-too-late. It is a self-made prison. We make rules to measure ourselves and force ourselves to be accountable and to deliver. Even the bosses are going crazy.
Now that we are busy recovering from the massive staff movement and not yet starting on audacious goals, I finally have time to clear some backlog. The good thing about staying back later is that I can focus on squeezing some value into my email instead of being caught in endless email chains that you have to reply to ASAP. I can cobble together some proper explanation to shut people up, let us all progress to the next step and give everyone some black and white to cover their backsides with. Justification and endorsement is of enormous value in this company these days.
If anyone advises to achieve the same by ignoring the urgent and tend to the more important, he probably has not worked in my company or has enough people to arrow and distribute out the fire-fighting. As an ex-colleague says, she is busy everyday, but at the end of the day she doesn’t know why she is busy. At her new company she can really focus on her task at hand.
But while I’m still here, a cog in this fast-moving machine, I can take perverse pleasure in being able to clear up and seal off the shit.