Finishing the Week Farther Behind

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Have you ever had one of those weeks where, no matter how much you get done, you finish the week further behind than you started?

That’s what this week felt like. And last week, for that matter. Every individual day was productive as hell. I answered things, submitted things to the right agencies, wrote things, did things, talked to people, completed projects, checked things off the list.

But, at the end of the day on Friday (which was actually Saturday), there is more email in the inbox it still has to be dealt with, more tasks on the task list, more documents that have to be submitted, more of everything than when I started working.

And next week is a short week, theoretically, because there was a holiday I haven’t caught up to yet.

There are moments, of course, that I wonder if I’ve done this to myself. Have I agreed to too many secondary hats at work? Am I trying to accomplish too much in my primary job? Is my primary job not actually doable within a reasonably close to standard workweek?

The person who is in this job right before me work to 70 to 80-hour week, or more, but was wearing two hats, doing two jobs for most of that time, and still waiting for their spouse to finish up their previous job in another province. I don’t know how much of their time was spent in my role. It probably didn’t help that we’d gone several months without a department head before they came on board and there were a lot of things left undone, plenty of which were still ongoing by the time I got to it. The person who had the job before them had a completely different methodology and outlook and I honestly have no idea how much time they spent on the actual job itself. I wasn’t in a position to have any idea.

So is it doable? I don’t know at this point, even almost a year in, if that question is answerable.

Actually, it would probably be entirely honest to say that I don’t know if any of those questions are answerable. I may just not know enough yet. I try to keep that as comforting thought, because it probably is true that at some point in the future, I will know enough, that I will get everything done the course of an approximately normal week, and then I can actually start getting good at the job instead of merely getting enough things done to keep the business moving.

But that’s probably going to take me a while to figure out.

In the meantime, a lot of my weeks have more on the list at the end of them there was when they started. I don’t know how long that’s maintainable.

Be well, everyone.

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