Monday, December 12, 2016

Disconnect of Doing and Results

For most of us, our work is defined with availability, not results. For a monthly salary, we make (the best of) ourselves available for a particular amount of hours every week, and those hours include a good mix of taking things forward for the company and taking oneself forward for the future of taking things forward for the company.

The weekly hours, 37.5 for Finland, remind us of a standard of sustainable pace. If you spend this amount of time thinking focused about work (and my work in particular is thinking), the rest of the time is free. The idea of the weekly hours helps protect those of us with a habit of forgetting to pay attention to what is sustainable, but also define the amount of availability our employers are allowed to expect of us.

In the thinking industry, the hours shouldn't really be the core but the results. Are we using our thinking hours to create something of value? Being available and being busy are not necessarily the actions that provide results.

There's been two instances for me recently when I've paid attention to hours in particular.
  1. Learning about a Competitiveness Pact Agreement adding 24 additional working hours to 2017 (and onwards) 
  2. Setting up my personal level of Results I'm happy with
The first one, as I became aware of it, was more of a motivation discount. It made me painfully aware how much I hate the idea of working on the clock and how much extra stress I get from having to stamp myself in and out of a working place in new work over reporting all hours manually in last one. The new step makes me ashamed of the hours I put in - as they don't stay contained at the office.

The latter is a thing I seem to be continuously discussing. I would, on a very personal level, like to see that my work has an impact. And I monitor that impact. I'm aware that often more hours into trying to create an impact can give me more of an impact.

As I become aware that I just spent a week in a conference (long-term gain, I hope), I become aware that this investment is away from something else.  I could have driven forward something else. And that something might be short-term and long-term gain combined.

There's no easy formula for me to say when I would be happy with the results I get for the hours I put in. I know my hours alone don't do much unless they are properly synced with the hours of others.

I would like to think I know the difference between doing and results. Not all doing ends up becoming valuable. Some things don't produce. Appearance of busyness isn't a goal. Being busy isn't a goal. Getting awesome things done is the goal. Yet I find that with a little more time invested, it is possible to get more awesome things done. My work is thinking, and I'm thinking without fixed hours.

Is there a few more awesome things I could get done before the year is ending?