Running Ourselves Ragged

I’ve been really busy lately. I try to write for a couple hours every morning before work. I then drive to the new job and put in five to six hours there. Then I start the second job, which is property manager. This includes the inevitable office work, as well as showing apartments. Then I jump into the third job: editing. Depending on my workload, I try to do this for several hours every day.

In the midst of all that, every freaking day, I have to find time to eat, spend time online, play with Suki, play with AJ, and oh yeah… SLEEP.

I know I’m not the only one with a brutal schedule. I found this at the NYTimes:

THINK for a moment about your typical workday. Do you wake up tired? Check your e-mail before you get out of bed? Skip breakfast or grab something on the run that’s not particularly nutritious? Rarely get away from your desk for lunch? Run from meeting to meeting with no time in between? Find it nearly impossible to keep up with the volume of e-mail you receive? Leave work later than you’d like, and still feel compelled to check e-mail in the evenings?

More and more of us find ourselves unable to juggle overwhelming demands and maintain a seemingly unsustainable pace. Paradoxically, the best way to get more done may be to spend more time doing less. A new and growing body of multidisciplinary research shows that strategic renewal — including daytime workouts, short afternoon naps, longer sleep hours, more time away from the office and longer, more frequent vacations — boosts productivity, job performance and, of course, health.

“More, bigger, faster.” This, the ethos of the market economies since the Industrial Revolution, is grounded in a mythical and misguided assumption — that our resources are infinite.

Read the rest of the article here.

The holiday weekend is coming up. It’s supposed to be colder than average and rain a lot, but that doesn’t matter because I’ll be working. There are leases to get signed and edits to finish.

If 80s had been forecast, I’d be going nuts, trying to get away for at least one day to scooter around Wisconsin with the camera while the iPod plays in my ears.

How many of us don’t take time to enjoy the “little things” in life, like family, favorite hobbies, or vacations? Maybe you’re one of the 59 million Americans who don’t get paid vacation. Or maybe you get paid time off but don’t take it because you’re afraid of losing your job.

My point is, we are working ourselves into the ground, and when we are lying on that inevitable death bed, the last thing we’re gonna think is, “I should have worked harder.”

Remember that the next time someone asks you to go for a drive in the country and you say, “Can’t. Got too much to do.”

You only get ONE LIFE. It’s happening right now! Let’s all take the time to enjoy the little things, because the ride doesn’t last forever.

It’s summer. Well, for many of us, it is. My turn will come. 🙂 The air is soft, the sun is warm, there are deer in the field to your right, on the verge of running. The bats have begun to fly, swooping through the trees. There is no sound of traffic; all you can hear is a light breeze moving sporadically through the leaves.

Breathe deeply. Inhale the smells of summer. Relax. Smile. Enjoy.

Summer Sunset 8.6.11

By the way, get a FREE READ from me over at Brandon Shire’s blog. Say hi to him and leave a comment for me. Thanks!

 

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About Fenraven

Fenraven happily lives in south Florida, where it is really hot most of the year. Find him on Twitter, Google +, and Facebook by searching on 'fenraven'.
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8 Responses to Running Ourselves Ragged

  1. cindyls1969 says:

    I am a Canadian who doesn’t get paid holidays. I work 7 days a week at two different jobs and then I write and I’m not sure if that’s a break or not. And while I agree that we all need to take a break, doing it is often much easier said than done. I wish it were different.

    • I’ve been saying I need a break for over a year. I understand exactly what you mean, Cindy. *sigh*

      For instance, I’d love to take the next three days off. Visit friends, drive around, take some pictures, NAP, sit outside staring at nothing while I dream….

      Maybe next year.

  2. I’m retired, but my partner isn’t. Last fall we bought a beautiful home in the country, but he decided he had to do something to keep busy, so when Interstate Brands collapsed, he filled the need by starting a bread delivery business. He now delivers to the grocery stores in four northwestern Montana counties. Some of these counties are larger than some eastern states. He’s working at least six days a week, and yesterday he left home at 5 am and didn’t get back until midnight. A typical day for him involves getting up at 3:30 and returning home aound 7 pm. Yesterday, I spent ten hours riding with him and it’s brutal. I live in constant fear of traffic accidents, or even that he’ll die of exhaustion. This is not the way to live a fulfilling life.

    • Sounds rough. Jeez. I like driving when it’s aimless, or even when I have a goal but no particular time I need to reach it. This kind of driving sounds awful though. I assume you’ve talked about it with him?

      If he needs to stay busy, maybe he could find something at home. Write, paint, take up woodworking or furniture building, pick up a camera and take photos… I can think of a lot of things that are more relaxing than the schedule you describe him adhering to.

    • Karen says:

      Hey Bryan, I realize we don’t know each other but I read your posting and it got to me, because I know so well what you’re feeling from both sides. My husband use to travel a lot and I worried every minute that he was gone. Ironically the accident was mine nearly 25 years ago and it wasn’t pretty it took two and a half hours and the jaws of life to get me out of my car. Luckily our baby wasn’t with me. I was in the hospital for 2 weeks and the only reason they didn’t keep me longer was because it was my little ones birthday and I was determined to go home because all she wanted for her birthday was her mommy. What I learned from this was to never loose sight of what matters most and it’s not work or money It’s family and friends. I so hope your partner realizes that what he’s leaving at home everyday is worth so much more than a job that keeps him away from the people he loves for such long hours. But until that time I’ll pray that he comes home safely to you each and every day. Take care, be strong, there are happy mediums out there and if you work together you’ll find them. Any relationship that’s worth having is worth making the compromises needed to keep it.

  3. diannegray says:

    This is the reason I retired from my day job, Theo. I know everyone can’t do what I’ve done, but it’s the best thing ever! Before I left work I asked the guy sitting next to me in the office when he was going to retire and he said, ‘they’ll just carry me out of here in a box.’. That’s not for me….

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