More often than not, it doesn’t matter where I work – I find a way to get some writing or reading done wherever I am, because I consider those activities my vocation. However, when it comes to my actual job, I tend to be very particular. That is to say, I make a point of only ever doing tasks for my employer at the actual office where I am employed. No matter how much I need to do, I never take my day job home. Some may think it’s stupid, especially now that I have more responsibilities there than I can shake a stick at, but it’s one of the few ways by which I can claim a semblance of work-life balance.
Of course, it also helps that it’s much easier to do my job at my job because I keep my space there relatively organized compared to my work space at home (which is basically made up of a laptop, a coffee table, and probably all the notebooks I’ve bought since 2008.
Now that I think about it, the way I set up my work station at the office and the way I set up my work space at home probably influences the way I approach things as well. Because my cubicle is fairly neat, I tend to approach the tasks I do for my employers with a bit more discipline than I would with the personal work (which I generally do at home, or at a random restaurant or coffee shop). In fact, I notice that I’m a lot more detail-oriented (and annoyingly neurotic) when I’m at the office. When I work anywhere else, I’m more likely to be a free-wheeler.
Over the last few days, I think I may have had some near-meltdowns at the office because of all the details that I try to keep track of – and that I try to juggle perfectly. I’m an anxious perfectionist about 80% of the time at my job, and that isn’t necessarily practical in the face of a challenging task and a looming deadline.
On the other hand, I have made very little progress in my personal work because I’m LESS neurotic about it. I tend to forget details not because they are too many, but because I don’t take enough notes. The anxious perfectionism at the workplace also turns into the sort of anxious perfectionism that paralyzes people.
Does the place where you work ALSO affect the way you approach work?
- Work-Life-Art Balance (keithecker.com)