The nature of work

I've been doing a lot of thinking about this recently - about the nature of work, about how we go about getting things done, about how we approach each work day and how that changes from day to day. And, so far, here's what I've discovered.

Focus on the big stuff
Some days (and weeks) I spend all of my time working on a single project. It takes all my effort and focus. I usually make a lot of progress, and also make the client happy. Of course, this means lots of other things get dropped by the wayside.

Focus on the little stuff
There are other days where my primary goal is to check as many things off my list as possible. This usually results in a feeling of accomplishment, but it's short-lived and not based in reality. For one thing, my work is highly project-based, and I have far too much like it (like everyone else on the team - this is just status quo for us). Focusing on the little stuff usually means that I'm not working on the large projects, and therefore, neglecting the more important stuff. Even if I do manage to cross off small tasks from large projects, there are always more to take their place. The number of things on my to-do list rarely actually goes down, and over time, this is frustrating.

Keeping all the balls in the air
Then, there are weeks like this. Weeks where every single one of the 10 active client projects on my list require at least some of my attention. Weeks where I am all too aware that this means an average of four hours a project, assuming that I literally spend 40 hours on active client projects. (With internal projects, and normal work breaks, this doesn't happen.) Weeks when this completely overwhelms me.

This is one of those weeks.

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