Walking Away From Work

This article is written by EH at @happyops.

Intuitively, we might think that the more work that we do the more output we will create. The thinking is simple: one standard hour of work produces one unit of output, whether that output is songs written, computer built, or buildings designed.

This intuitive way of thinking about work is mistaken because we are limited by the human rebirth. This means that we need to take care of our bodies, to sleep for 8 hours, to eat 3 times per day, and drink water each day. Part of the human condition is that we require time away from work or any other activity.

Only with time away from work to rest and recuperate will we be able to return to work with renewed vigor and passion.

In my previous role I was expected to work nights and weekends as well as a regular working week. After several years the long hours took their toll and I came to resent the work, the job, the manager, and I was happy to walk away from it all. I wrote about some of my experiences here:

In the end, I think that I simply became bored with the repetition of work and having to spend so man hours per week trying to think and care about work and a company. Now that I have started a new job I do not want to push myself to resenting work and time spent at work. Instead, I want to put everything in to work while I am there, but walk away from it at the end of the day and the end of the week.

My Recent Experience

I had an experience recently where I went away for the weekend. I took a mobile phone and some work equipment with me. In the rush to get away for the weekend some things did not get done – to return a message and write something out. While away for the weekend I went to get those things done, but I didn’t have the work equipment that I needed.

Earlier in the day I felt bad for not being able to return the message and write something out. But the day progressed I felt more relaxed and more relieved because there way nothing that I could do about it. I just had to get on with enjoying the weekend away. After my weekend cut off from work I returned to work with a renewed energy, insight, and new ideas.

I took this experience to heart, and I have been making a point of leaving my work equipment at work. Sure, I still work long days during the week, but on the weekend I make a point of walking away from work and cutting myself off. This makes for a clean break so that I am not tempted to do a little bit of work, just follow-up on that one thing, return that one message. Instead I can focus my time on something else, whether it is on Dharma, meditation, or simply doing nothing.

Wishing you every happiness, EH.