Stopping Work

In my one-on-one with my boss Ryan, I had an interesting revelation. We talked a bit about working more hours, and how people seem to be logging in more time with work (now that everyone is working from home).

I mentioned having a hard time pulling away, and having a propensity to work longer days. And as we discussed this, I compared remote work with working from the office. And it kind of hit me.

At the office, there’s some external force that requires you to stop working. You need to catch the train home. You need to get dinner. You need to get home to your wife and kids. There are external forces that require you to stop.

But if you’re at home? There really aren’t those outside forces at work. A lot of that shifts to a personal declaration of “I’ve done enough, I am stopping.” But the trick of that is, especially for some… it’s incredibly hard to say “I’ve done enough.” Because to me, there’s always more I could do.

Some of that is personal (I tend to feel like I’m not doing enough or pulling my weight enough). Some of that is just the nature of work (there will always, always be work to be done, no matter how much you accomplish).

It was an interesting revelation. I’m going to try to keep that in mind, but working more has been a very difficult pull to combat, especially now. Because it always feels like I could be doing more. And I’m not sure how easily I can give myself permission to stop.

[photo via Kelly Sikkema]

Related:
Felix Jung, 20×2 Chicago: Why Did You Stop?

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