Hmm. I’ve been noticing a new trend in my conversations lately and it’s not one I’m proud of.
I’ve been complaining. Quite a bit. Blech. I want to be full of positivity, energy and fun, not drag-me-down excuses. Time for some analysis and change.
So where are these complaints coming from? They are pretty much all connected with work. I am feeling strongly that I have too much to do, not enough time or resources to do it, and not a lot of options that make me happy. In my job I do it all. I file budget forms, distribute posters, plan workshops, manage discrimination complaints, lead a group of allies in different units on campus, on and on. Since I’m down to 4 days a week of work, I’m now compressing all this work into 4 instead of 5 days.
On the plus side: I have a super-great student worker this year who is pro-active, positive and efficient. However, student workers are hired to do meaningful work, not make photocopies, so though administrative tasks are part of her job I try to make sure they’re not the main theme.
And with the need to take my vacation days, I now have only 4 days of work left before winter break. And a LONG list of things to do. Some projects, even when I try to delegate, keep falling back on my lap. Information I need to move ahead is challenging to dredge up. Details, details, details need to be planned out excruciatingly for assorted meetings and projects. There is too much to do, and not enough time or resources. Big projects that I want to spend time on and that need energy, thought and depth, are not growing the way they should because there are simply too many other things to manage. And I’m getting burned out.
And that, friends, is why I find myself saying “Well, things have been very busy!” or “Sorry I haven’t got back to you yet, I’ve had too much to do” or “I’d love to plan a meeting but my schedule is crazy” or (to my work-study student) “Sorry I’m a bit scattered today; it’s been so busy I haven’t had time to think.”
Aaah … feel important by complaining. Feel self-righteous by making oneself out to be a martyr. NOT the type of maturity to which I aspire.
So, how to move ahead?
1. In the new year our office will be hiring someone else to work in my office. At a minimum this will be an auxiliary support person which should take a lot of the smaller tasks off my page (no more updating the website? Cool!)
2. I’m going on vacation. Soon. And I’ll simply keep my head down between now and then.
3. Just stop it. Other people don’t really care that I’ve got a lot to do. So do they.
4. I’m sure I’ll figure something else out about how to manage too much work. Streamline, delegate, prioritize … it will happen.