There’s always more work 22:37 on Wednesday

Another lesson re-learned: when planning work in short term, ie. “what to do today”, work should be estimated in time, not in deliverables.

It might sound counter-intuitive, but when you sit down at the office next morning, try to allocate time to tasks rather than pick tasks to finish. Set a time limit for working on something, rather than put yourself under the pressure of getting something finished “before going home tonight”.

Why? Because there’s always more work to do. Work never ends, but your stamina will.

If you have one project going, allocate 8 hours for it each work day (minus lunch). Some days you’ll get a lot done. Some days you will feel like you did nothing among the mindless surfing and Jaikuing. But in the long run, you will get your work done, and you will have hours left for having a life.

If you’ve got more than one simultaneous project, you can allocate 2 hours for the first and 6 hours for the second project, for example. Whether you get anything finished in two hours doesn’t matter. What matters you worked on the project for some time and tried to move it forward. It’s important to realize everything is trying: there’s always the possibility of failure. Luckily, you’ll have two more hours to try again the next day.

This is different from deciding to finish off tasks without time limits. That’s a recipe for working on just one more thing, just one more hour at the office, and one more day spent working, not living. And if you run out of time while trying to finish stuff, you’ll feel guilty. In the long run (and not too long), you will be stressed out, and not get any more done than by setting a limit of 8h a day.

I’m not saying I’m able to live the way I preach, but would be worth it, no?

2 Responses to “There’s always more work”


  1. helppo Says:

    You should allocate few hours per day for writing this blog!

    Btw: The cartoons on xkcd.com are very good and nerdy :)


  2. Tina Aspiala Says:

    Nice idea. Think I’ll try it–most of my work-related stress seems to stem from guilt, not rock-solid unmeetable deadlines. As you say, there’s always just that one more thing waiting for you around the corner. As long as you’re awake, you could be working, right? :)