How Much Is Enough?

Browsing through Reddit,  as one is wont to do on a late Sunday night/early Monday morning, I stumbled on this web log posting by Erik Dietrich about personal/professional life balance and how we sometimes do too much in the hopes of receiving some form of payout in the future.

Having started a career at a later date than most, I’ve ended up doing many more hours at work than I should probably be proud of in the hopes of accelerating my experience gain.  I spend many hours after work investigating tools and techniques that may assist me in producing quality results in less time. Because that’s what I expect to happen: you gain experience and you’re able to reach the same mark, week in, week out much more quickly than you would have in your first week in the same role. Which, I understand, allows you to take on more responsibility, gain more experience, make you more valuable to the company who employs you and eventually make more money, get more perks, get promoted, etc.

So when I think of the some extra hours put in since I’ve returned from summer vacation, it’s around 10 hours a week/40 hours a month/160 hours since vacation. Wow. That number kind of sucks and, when you think about it on an hourly basis, the realization of how badly I’ve diluted my annual salary is stunning.

I don’t have a problem giving more time to my employer when it’s a ‘crunch’ scenario; no problem at all. What I do have a problem with is the expectation that the amount of work I’ve been given matches the time lines in which I’m expected to deliver it.

Maybe it’s time for a New Year’s resolution: I am a person that completes their work day the same way they start it; on time.

Let’s see how long that resolution lasts. 😉