I’ve always had this *problem* of letting things sit until they absolutely NEEDED to get done. Math homework, my lit essay, the dishes, my eye doctor appointment, literally anything. I never understood why it frustrated my mother so much; until I started my first big girl job.
While work may be a little different than leaving my laundry long enough for my mom to give up and just do it for me (works every time) I realized this is one of those things that starts at home.
In my first job there was a hierarchy dilemma, no one could do anything below their own job title. It infuriated me to no end. I understand the ‘do your own work,’ but I am way more into the team mindset. What angered me wasn’t the fact that they just believed they were better than our lowly coordinator work but they would outright say it. I’ll give you two stories that solidified my wanting to leave this company and find one that better suits me.
The first story, I was working next to this girl, only one job level above me and she JUST got promoted, but to her the lines of coordinator and buyer were black and white. I was working hard on doing revisions for her, station calls, and post logs. She turns to me and hands me a paper and goes ‘can you do this for me?’ But it was more in the tone of just do my shit. I took it like whatever it’ll teach me but I’m definitely going to be working another 10 hour day (really 11 because they take a time off for lunch even if you worked through lunch). It would be totally fine if she was working on something too, but she just turned away and started watching Instagram videos and laughing while I was do stacks of her work. But she believed that was a coordinators job and as a buyer she could just watch me do it all.
Second story, and this happened almost everyday but here it is. It’s Friday, the day is nearing to an end and we realize there are post logs that still need to be done and the data entry specialists (even below coordinator level) still haven’t gotten all of their pre logs in. One of my good buyer friends starts helping us with post logs and I’m helping with pre logs. Another buyer walks in and says she’s done for the day, what are we all still doing. We tell her how we have a lot left so it’s all hands on deck, she just laughs and says she doesn’t do that anymore and walks away to do nothing.
The second story may be a little blended but this type of thing happened almost daily at this place.
This led me to come home every night to my boyfriend and complain saying ‘if you know it needs to be done, just fucking do it.’ Seriously, you’re not above your team.
Before I diverge too far from my point (may have already done that) I took a valuable lesson from this company, never push off work, whether it is to other people or to your future self.
Similar to my last post about writing down all your novel ideas; do the work that needs to be done once you see it. It will save your future self more time than the time it will take to do it now. I know this sounds exactly what your mom said in high school when you refused to read Othello, but trust me, she was so right.
This little proactive approach doesn’t need to be confined to your workspace, but your personal space, too. I’ve been doing all the chores right when I see them at home lately, I’ve been putting the dishes in the dishwasher once we use them instead of letting them sit for a week, I took the trash out that one time, and I fold the laundry once my boyfriend takes it out of the dryer – still hate doing laundry and in my defense, I’m so short I can barely reach the dry since they’re stacked.
But home life has been so much better since doing this. And now, since my boyfriend see’s how much easier it has been to do the little things as they come instead of spending an entire weekend cleaning, he started doing them, too.
This is the same for work and home. When you’re at work, don’t push off that little task you can do tomorrow, just do it now so they don’t all stack up against your one deadline. At home, it’s just way less stressful not feeling the need to clean a giant mountain of dishes and letting it build and build and build until you break and probably that wine glass sitting precariously on top.
Don’t ever believe you’re above some menial task, because without those millions of menial tasks you wouldn’t be where you are now. Help your team out by doing the work, whether your team be your job or your team being your family. And remember, the same way I rubbed off on my boyfriend, your energy and attitude affects everyone around you, so here’s my cheesy line of the day – show by example.