Gazing at the Beige Sea of Cubicle Walls

It’s funny how much starting a new project at work can affect you. Instead of worrying about a wedding, a house, and impending reorganization, my planningg horizon has shortened from six months to one week.

Of course, I’m partly to blame for this. I’m much more of a sprinter than an endurance worker; during the ramp-up of a project, I throw myself at the learning curve to understand everything (everything) as quickly as possible. I can keep that pace up for a few weeks, maybe a month or so, but then I need to back down. Ask me to keep that up for three or four months (like two projects did last year), and I’ll reach the end of my rope.

It’s all about finding a balance, really. With the house and wedding coming up, there’s no shortage of things to be done, from the profound (like locking in a mortgage rate – check) to the mundane (like the never-ending dishes to be washed). I’ve had to take work home the past few nights as well, which just stretches the day out farther. That balance point will change this summer, as I’ll have a family to love and care for. (Hey, not all things I have to do have to be a chore.)

Which brings me to the question: How much of your work goes home with you? Not just the things like emails, documents, and planning, but the stresses and uncertainty? Where is your balance point?