Unrealistic Expectations

Clock watcher

Clock watcher (Photo credit: Craig A Rodway)

It was once accepted that the average working day was nine-to-five, now it’s about eight-to-five, five-thirty at most.  Most people accept that everyone works generally those same hours but there seems to be an increasing expectation, perhaps perpetuated by supermarkets that are open either twenty-four hours or until late, that companies should work round the customers’ work hours.

You might expect a company to provide an emergency service, plumbing or electrics for example, but I’ve heard of people who were waiting for a visit for something non-urgent actually saying “well it’s ok, he can still come out at six or seven o’clock” – oh, can he?  Like the person carrying out the visit doesn’t have a home life to go to when his actual working day finishes.  The same goes for people who work during the day who often won’t actually ask “do you do evenings?” but just say “you’ll have to come out after six o’clock because I work.”  This just takes the old idea of “the customer is always right” to new levels as people behave increasingly selfishly, with little consideration to other people’s lives.

If I need to have some work done then I arrange to have a day off, so the work can be done in normal hours, unless it’s really an emergency.  If it’s non-urgent and I have no holidays left then it can wait.

Where To Start, How To Keep Going

73: "Send up a prayer for me..."

(Photo credit: practicalowl)

I enjoy writing this blog but still find it hard to motivate myself to do it, the problem being that I get home from work, some days I go shopping for bits I’ve inevitably forgotten to get with the weekly shop, other days I have a hot bath, other days I get home a bit late.  By the time I’ve made and eaten dinner I find I’m just too tired or just can’t get into the right frame of mind to write anything.

Often by the time I’ve caught up on other sites I read I think that there wouldn’t be time to write anything.  This is an excuse.

I have a read-it-later list in Firefox that would shame War and Peace.  The sheer volume of information available to me seems too great and the feeling soon becomes “where do I start?”

It seems I’m not alone in this, Lifehacker recently asked its readers How Do You Stay Productive After Work and many of the commenters said much the same as me.  (Update: they followed this up with more good advice here including doing some work as soon as you get home, to keep up the momentum).  It can be frustrating when you have side projects that excite you but you just can’t find the energy to do them.  Personally I’ve found that making sure I get enough rest so my work day doesn’t completely flatten me and pretty much shaming myself into not neglecting my projects works for me.

As for where to start – well there’s a lyric in Loneliness of a Tower Crane Driver by Elbow that says “just pick a point and go”.  That’ll do for me.