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  • Writer's pictureMagdalena Chauca

That feeling you can't describe...

Updated: Jan 8, 2023

I'm sitting here, drinking my cup of tea (because I'm doing a month off coffee ugh), and I have literally nothing to do.

I hate this feeling. I'm not good at being in a workplace when the work-load dies down and you find yourself sitting in an office, confined to your chair and screen with no tangible purpose. Something inevitably comes up sooner or later. The people around will often have a heavy work load so you offer to help them with whatever small bits you can do to lighten it. But those moments between, where you find yourself at that work station for no apparent reason - no reason you can bind yourself to... those moments are agony.

I have these moments less in my current job than some of the other positions I've had in the past. I used to have a job where I worked essentially half-days, and sometimes 4 hours of that day would really seem extremely pointless and boring. Most of the time, I was there IN-CASE something happened, not because much was happening. At the same time, another job I had was as a store attendant. We got foot traffic of about 10 people. Before I understood how popular the online store was, I couldn't understand how the shop kept open. To keep myself busy, I threw myself into some online courses, and got into a bit of freelance work that I could do on the side, while at my day-jobs. However, I had quite a different experience in another job with a small company. The boss didn't seem to understand the benefits of offering work/life balance to her staff, because she had too many projects for the amount of people trying to manage them. Remembering the stress of that job allows me to appreciate the duller, quieter moments at my desk when things have slowed down. But doesn't everyone get that feeling during the quiet moments and days? I personally don't like being at work and having nothing to do. It makes me agitated. I like trying to keep high productivity going during that time, because then I feel I can focus on my other kinds of productivity in my off-work time, and even relax a bit better when I'm not working. Maybe it's from the experience of being over-worked. I wouldn't call myself a work-a-holic, I've given myself quite a lot of down-time to recover after the last bad work experience I had. But I'm definitely happier with a steady work-flow. I think everyone would like to be able to love their job. But sadly not everyone does, and not everybody can. But that doesn't mean they have to hate it. There are quite a few simple ways you can avoid an employee hating the place they work, the people they work with, and the people they work for.

I wouldn't say I love the job I have, but I don't mind it. The people are extremely helpful and kind. I feel best on the days where there's more to do, because I at least feel helpful, even if I'm not particularly invigorated by the work I'm doing. If I'm sitting there without a task at-hand, in 10 minutes or so I usually have to make one for myself (like checking or scheduling things in my diary, or editing a doc for one of my personal projects).

I guess what I'm thinking is - as humans, we're not designed to be bored. We're designed to have things to do and find meaning in what we're doing. We're shouldn't be over-loaded or over-worked, but there's a steady-flowing, special level of (at least slightly varied) work, that I think is needed for your average cubicle or desk-dweller to feel they have a purpose for the day.

If their job can't give that purpose to them, they're gonna find that meaning and purpose somewhere else.

Just some thoughts on that :D

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