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Otis

Work is too consuming—anyone else have this problem?

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The conference call culture is also out of control. People call calls for the stupidest reasons. Two emails can manage half the effort and 9\10 times it's just two people doing all the talking and everyone else is looking at girls asses on Instagram. 

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20 hours ago, Otis said:

Don’t mean to sound like I’m complaining GB. I’m blessed. Just wondering if others have this same issue, and if so, how they manage it. 

Let me know when you figure it out.  I'm at a point where I feel guilty if I'm not working, spending time with my kids, or playing a sport/exercising.  Because if I'm not doing one of those three things I feel like I should be working. 

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12 minutes ago, culdeus said:

The conference call culture is also out of control. People call calls for the stupidest reasons. Two emails can manage half the effort and 9\10 times it's just two people doing all the talking and everyone else is looking at girls asses on Instagram. 

Over the past few months, I've been roped into a completely unnecessary project. If they had just asked me, I could have saved everyone God knows how much work.

We have a call pretty much every other week. I've tried to explain a better solution but nobody  listens. And I'm pretty sure the guy organizing them is just a "project guy" . If the calls end, someone will realize he is completely unnecessary. So they drag on....

Edited by TLEF316

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22 hours ago, Studs & Duds said:

(blows out) i quit my job last month at purr and woofs because it so stressful and making me crazy. a last straw came when me and jimmy was at wendys and I hear a woman say to a child "don't eat like a pig". it was instinct that I walk right over and tell her she can't say that because it is disrespectful to pigs that are reading. teh lady just look at me and that's when jimmy come over and say hey studs, this aint purr and woofs. this is wendys. I was so embarrassed. I apologize and say to jimmy let's just take our large frostys home today.

it's been about 5 weeks and i couldnt be happier except you gotta pay them bills. and jimmy need a new tooth which I have to pay cash for because I dont have pet insurance through purr and woofs no more. they tell you when you in school to study hard and I wish i listened because modtrating is only job i can get now. I apply to a few places and have interview at icechewing.com after new year. any ways merry chistmas.

slunks

p and s teh whole time i was writin this jimmy was playing jingle bell on the zylophones...awwww

You had me laughing out loud before i finished reading the first sentence.  Merry Christmas S&D

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2 hours ago, culdeus said:

The conference call culture is also out of control. People call calls for the stupidest reasons. Two emails can manage half the effort and 9\10 times it's just two people doing all the talking and everyone else is looking at girls asses on Instagram. 

I'm a programmer so outside of our morning team status meeting, I hardly have them.   I might have to reconsider a move up to middle management if this is what I'm missing.

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9 hours ago, Long Ball Larry said:

Hopefully you find this inspiring, O

I keeps it real 

Edited by Capella

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12 hours ago, bigbottom said:

You have to learn to compartmentalize. It’s a skill. When you’re away from work, you have to be away from work. Be in the moment. As little free time that you have, you can’t let work invade it. And I’m talking as much or more about thinking or worrying about work during your free time as I am actually doing work. That can be debilitating, and a recipe for misery and regret. 

A good friend of mine has what I imagine is one of the most stressful jobs you can have. I can’t go into details, but he deals with crises that would leave me curled up in the fetal position all day. When I met him for the first time, we had a couple drinks and chatted about a bunch of stuff wholly unrelated to work. When I got home that night, I saw him on the news dealing with something earlier that day that I could not possibly imagine dealing with. And yet, he sat there with me having a couple beers and shooting the ####. The guy can compartmentalize like no one I’ve ever seen.  It’s what allows him to be successful in his career AND maintain a healthy mental state and quality of life.

Yeah, I left the big firm life after 18 years, but I’m not going to suggest that’s the right move for you. You seem pretty institutionalized at this point, and I don’t mean that as a pejorative. I’m just saying that you’ve built a successful career in that environment and it’s hard to walk away from something you’re good at, particularly when it’s all you’ve ever known. But you have to learn how to compartmentalize. If you have to see a shrink or read some books or just use brute force to get it accomplished, do what you have to to get it done. Given what I hear you saying, that is perhaps the one skill you can develop that will have the greatest impact on your happiness  

 

Really great post. Thanks GB. You nailed it. 

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On ‎12‎/‎22‎/‎2018 at 8:31 PM, Otis said:

Anyone else have this problem?  Your sacrifice too many important things for work.  When you “work from home,” you find yourself getting frustrated with the family because even though you stayed home to help out thinking it would be a quiet day, everyone and his mother decides they need to email you requesting something that day, or asking you to jump on emergency calls or whatever. …….

Even when things are slower at work, which is more rare these days, I find myself often off in a corner e-mailing, networking, brainstorming on what more I can do.  

Anyone else feel like this?  How do you manage it?

Early Merry Christmas to all my GBs.   

This is going to sound simple though I know it's not: TURN OFF THE PHONE!!

Easy to say, but I'm working at least 80 hrs/week myself as I always have. Just seems to be my base--and I am no longer on call.  

 

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5 hours ago, mr roboto said:

 

Otis - you strike me as a guy who desperately needs to be needed. The pressure to perform and your willingness to do so brings you joy. Because it pays well and makes others like/respect you. 

This missed the mark a bit. It’s a lot more transactional than this for me. If they paid me my current salary to be the janitor, that would be ok here. 

That said, I’m a real worrier, especially since I’ve had kids. And so despite how well I may be doing at any given time, I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop. That mentality isn’t helping any I’m sure. 

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2 minutes ago, Otis said:

This missed the mark a bit. It’s a lot more transactional than this for me. If they paid me my current salary to be the janitor, that would be ok here. 

That said, I’m a real worrier, especially since I’ve had kids. And so despite how well I may be doing at any given time, I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop. That mentality isn’t helping any I’m sure. 

Try to remember the "me time".

I have always been the one who never left loose ends, and there is a time when you have to  have the confidence in your skills to trust that you have all problems covered--and the faith in your training of your subordinates that they are indeed well equipped to handle any surprises. 

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2 minutes ago, glumpy said:

Try to remember the "me time".. 

Honestly I don’t really get any of this. I go to the gym for an hour 3-4 days a week before my family wakes. I have quiet time during my train commute.  That’s really it. No real hobbies or the like anymore. 

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6 minutes ago, Otis said:

Honestly I don’t really get any of this. I go to the gym for an hour 3-4 days a week before my family wakes. I have quiet time during my train commute.  That’s really it. No real hobbies or the like anymore. 

There are times when that train commute is my me time. Even now. 

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13 hours ago, bigbottom said:

A good friend of mine has what I imagine is one of the most stressful jobs you can have. I can’t go into details, but he deals with crises that would leave me curled up in the fetal position all day. When I met him for the first time, we had a couple drinks and chatted about a bunch of stuff wholly unrelated to work. When I got home that night, I saw him on the news dealing with something earlier that day that I could not possibly imagine dealing with. And yet, he sat there with me having a couple beers and shooting the ####. The guy can compartmentalize like no one I’ve ever seen.  It’s what allows him to be successful in his career AND maintain a healthy mental state and quality of life.

i think i knows who you is talking about but i dont wanna ruin it. (is he nitials svp)

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15 minutes ago, Studs & Duds said:

i think i knows who you is talking about but i dont wanna ruin it. (is he nitials svp)

:lmao:

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12 minutes ago, belljr said:

Don't you have a Raptor to go run over people's hedges

No but I’m always thinking about obscenely unnecessary and expensive car purchases as a way to make me feel a little better about it all. 

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5 minutes ago, Otis said:

No but I’m always thinking about obscenely unnecessary and expensive car purchases as a way to make me feel a little better about it all. 

What do you drive today?

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I feel like this thread happened a few years ago. Am I going crazy?

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My job will always be busy and stressful...and I know I don't manage stress very well.  Fortunately I'm on the downward slop of a new role that I finally will have some good people coming on board to help, but its always a battle for me.

Some thoughts just based on my observations:

  • Solve the work roadblock as much as possible, because as much as you try all the non-work ideas to get to a better place, if you come home every day still "on fire" there's only so much the rest can do.  For me it was hiring some great help at work.  I also moved to a new company a year ago that was part of a plan to have a better balance (my responsibility at worst stayed the same, I found a company that was more supportive).
  • Live in the right place for you.  I moved south from NY a few years ago.  Weather, people, lifestyle change was really a positive.
  • Get the F off electronics, particularly little screens.  Social media, bull#### news, reading reddit, FBG.  Super important.
  • Get help.  Try a shrink, meditate to help wind down from work.  Try medication (I have a lightweight medication that helps sleep / stress a bit, has made a big difference).
  • Be present.  Soak up your surroundings, your family.  When you have free time really soak it in and enjoy, particularly people not electronics.
  • Get good sleep.  For me that means trying to get to bed early because once I wake up (and I wake up early), I don't go back.
  • Exercise.  You do it already, I don't know how you budget the time that you do given the rest of your schedule.  For me, I have a rower and light weight resistance based machine in my house.  No travel time wasted to exercise and i can go intense on the rower and get a good workout (helps that my metabolism is insane).

Wife/relationship is an important part of the equation.  Does your wife work?  I think your kids are younger...you've probably yet to start facing the teen challenges, this will add more stress.

 

 

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7 hours ago, NutterButter said:

Probably more like a few months ago.    

Sorry didn’t mean to take up space from all the other sick content we’ve got going these days. 

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1 hour ago, Otis said:

Sorry didn’t mean to take up space from all the other sick content we’ve got going these days. 

We all know that the FFA has you on retainer.    Whenever things are slow, you fire off weight loss and work/life balance threads.   

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Work to live, don't live to work. I'm salaried, but do everything in my power to be a 7 to 4 guy. Just because someone thinks something is important doesn't mean it is. It will be there the next day during normal working hours. As the old saying goes, no one on their death bed has ever said "I wish I had worked more."

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Oats, let me know if you ever decide to get out of litigation and try patent prosecution. Our firm is physically located in the Midwest, but we do hire people who work remote exclusively. I'm sure others do too. I don't know anyone in NY specifically, but know some local people who work for big firms with offices in NY (though I'm sure you have better contacts in the same firms).

Edited by FBG26
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I was a workaholic and had many of these same feelings mentioned in the first post.

I tried to fix it by lowering my work status to "part time" to see if I could artificially limit myself but that turned out to be a joke as I kept working the same amount of hours.

My wife told me I was addicted and like many addictions, some times you just need to go cold turkey to fix things and that is when I retired.

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13 hours ago, djmich said:

My job will always be busy and stressful...and I know I don't manage stress very well.  Fortunately I'm on the downward slop of a new role that I finally will have some good people coming on board to help, but its always a battle for me.

Some thoughts just based on my observations:

  • Solve the work roadblock as much as possible, because as much as you try all the non-work ideas to get to a better place, if you come home every day still "on fire" there's only so much the rest can do.  For me it was hiring some great help at work.  I also moved to a new company a year ago that was part of a plan to have a better balance (my responsibility at worst stayed the same, I found a company that was more supportive).
  • Live in the right place for you.  I moved south from NY a few years ago.  Weather, people, lifestyle change was really a positive.
  • Get the F off electronics, particularly little screens.  Social media, bull#### news, reading reddit, FBG.  Super important.
  • Get help.  Try a shrink, meditate to help wind down from work.  Try medication (I have a lightweight medication that helps sleep / stress a bit, has made a big difference).
  • Be present.  Soak up your surroundings, your family.  When you have free time really soak it in and enjoy, particularly people not electronics.
  • Get good sleep.  For me that means trying to get to bed early because once I wake up (and I wake up early), I don't go back.
  • Exercise.  You do it already, I don't know how you budget the time that you do given the rest of your schedule.  For me, I have a rower and light weight resistance based machine in my house.  No travel time wasted to exercise and i can go intense on the rower and get a good workout (helps that my metabolism is insane).

Wife/relationship is an important part of the equation.  Does your wife work?  I think your kids are younger...you've probably yet to start facing the teen challenges, this will add more stress.

 

 

Lots of good comments in here.  The ones that stand out:  Be present, get sleep, and exercise. 

Also, everyone should have a hobby or do something that makes them happy for a few minutes almost everyday.  Don't bury yourself in the hobby but take a little time to enjoy your life.  Take walks, take up photography, guitar, piano, reading history books, etc. 

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15 hours ago, Otis said:

This missed the mark a bit. It’s a lot more transactional than this for me. If they paid me my current salary to be the janitor, that would be ok here. 

That said, I’m a real worrier, especially since I’ve had kids. And so despite how well I may be doing at any given time, I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop. That mentality isn’t helping any I’m sure. 

I think that you might want to re-think and/or get in touch with the bolded because either 

A) you are lying to yourself and the need to do better, prevent problems, and/or be seen as the one with the answers.  I get where you are coming from, and sometimes think I'd just like a no-stress job like that, but I suspect that I would need to figure out a way to do better at janitoring and how to make the janitoring better for the company and before I know it, I'd be back in the same place

OR

B) you are more beholden to the money and feel the need to validate that (through expensive purchases as alluded to above) and that compulsion is what drives you and as you move up, I assume it is harder to obtain marginal increases in lifestyle that create absolute pleasure.  Kind of like that graph that shows the correlation between happiness and income rises to a certain point and then flattens or drops.

I get what it is like to be worrying.  I think I used to be a victim of catastrophic thinking, continually strategizing to prevent problems everywhere (at home, at work, maximizing free time, maximizing outcomes of hobbies).  I needed to prevent terrible things from happening and I also would re-live prior decisions to determine if they were optimal.  In the end again, the marginal impact that can be had by this continual strategizing and re-calibration is minimal.  Good things will happen, bad things will happen.  The amount of control that we have over when and how they happen them is really quite small.  I guess about 4 or 5 years ago, I read The Black Swan, and Taleb's example of the turkey before thanksgiving got me to start shifting my thinking (which has been a long process).   

“Consider a turkey that is fed every day,”  Taleb writes. “Every single feeding will firm up the bird’s belief that it is the general rule of life to be fed every day by friendly members of the human race ‘looking out for its best interests,’ as a politician would say. “On the afternoon of the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, something unexpected will happen to the turkey. It will incur a revision of belief.” https://hedgenordic.com/2015/11/the-thanksgiving-turkey-black-swan-dilemma/

Today could be good or today could be bad.  A future day could be good and a future day could be bad.  I would say that bigbottom's idea of compartmentalizing and djmich's idea of being present are sort of 2 sides of the same coin.  I would say be here now and eat it all (as Ram Dass says).  I think that compartmentalizing is an operational strategy, while being present is more of a guiding life force.  Be here now and stay focused on what is happening in the moment.  Eat it all and recognize that there is good and bad and that we will all experience all of those things, and without one, we couldn't have the other and it is all part of the life experience.  

I also think that what kutta said about working hard to provide for your family should and can be a source of joy.  Feel happy and proud for what you can give them.  Remind yourself that your actions can translate to goodness for them.  But don't lose sight of the fact that what they probably what most is for you to be present and respond to their needs as they change and arise.  They would probably be a lot happier overall with a hug or a compliment than a new pair of shoes (even though I know in the moment they will even say otherwise, especially the kids)

I didn't mean for this to get to preachy or new age-y.  I guess I'm just seeing the places where these issues have intersected in my own life and the way that I have tried to deal with that. 

 

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1 hour ago, Long Ball Larry said:

I think that you might want to re-think and/or get in touch with the bolded because either 

A) you are lying to yourself and the need to do better, prevent problems, and/or be seen as the one with the answers.  I get where you are coming from, and sometimes think I'd just like a no-stress job like that, but I suspect that I would need to figure out a way to do better at janitoring and how to make the janitoring better for the company and before I know it, I'd be back in the same place

OR

B) you are more beholden to the money and feel the need to validate that (through expensive purchases as alluded to above) and that compulsion is what drives you and as you move up, I assume it is harder to obtain marginal increases in lifestyle that create absolute pleasure.  Kind of like that graph that shows the correlation between happiness and income rises to a certain point and then flattens or drops.

I get what it is like to be worrying.  I think I used to be a victim of catastrophic thinking, continually strategizing to prevent problems everywhere (at home, at work, maximizing free time, maximizing outcomes of hobbies).  I needed to prevent terrible things from happening and I also would re-live prior decisions to determine if they were optimal.  In the end again, the marginal impact that can be had by this continual strategizing and re-calibration is minimal.  Good things will happen, bad things will happen.  The amount of control that we have over when and how they happen them is really quite small.  I guess about 4 or 5 years ago, I read The Black Swan, and Taleb's example of the turkey before thanksgiving got me to start shifting my thinking (which has been a long process).   

“Consider a turkey that is fed every day,”  Taleb writes. “Every single feeding will firm up the bird’s belief that it is the general rule of life to be fed every day by friendly members of the human race ‘looking out for its best interests,’ as a politician would say. “On the afternoon of the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, something unexpected will happen to the turkey. It will incur a revision of belief.” https://hedgenordic.com/2015/11/the-thanksgiving-turkey-black-swan-dilemma/

Today could be good or today could be bad.  A future day could be good and a future day could be bad.  I would say that bigbottom's idea of compartmentalizing and djmich's idea of being present are sort of 2 sides of the same coin.  I would say be here now and eat it all (as Ram Dass says).  I think that compartmentalizing is an operational strategy, while being present is more of a guiding life force.  Be here now and stay focused on what is happening in the moment.  Eat it all and recognize that there is good and bad and that we will all experience all of those things, and without one, we couldn't have the other and it is all part of the life experience.  

I also think that what kutta said about working hard to provide for your family should and can be a source of joy.  Feel happy and proud for what you can give them.  Remind yourself that your actions can translate to goodness for them.  But don't lose sight of the fact that what they probably what most is for you to be present and respond to their needs as they change and arise.  They would probably be a lot happier overall with a hug or a compliment than a new pair of shoes (even though I know in the moment they will even say otherwise, especially the kids)

I didn't mean for this to get to preachy or new age-y.  I guess I'm just seeing the places where these issues have intersected in my own life and the way that I have tried to deal with that. 

 

Really interesting stuff and perspective. Going to read this again later and respond. For now gonna be present with the fam!!

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I think about when I was at Ford right out of college.   Nobody had cell phones, nobody had e-mails. We had beepers but they were used few and far between.  When you left work for the day or weekend you actually left work behind. Unless a co-worker called me on a Saturday to talk about a project we would resume on Monday morning.  When you left for a weeks vacation there would  no communication with anyone until you returned to work. you actually relaxed and enjoyed your family and vacation time.

Also it seemed that people were not as worried or uptight about minor issues..they might not get instant attention but they would usually get resolved face to face instead of e-mail and texts.

Everybody was calmer..now I get agitated if my computer does not boot up in 20 seconds or a web page takes 10 seconds to load.

 

Edited by Da Guru
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1 hour ago, Long Ball Larry said:

 

I get what it is like to be worrying.  I think I used to be a victim of catastrophic thinking, continually strategizing to prevent problems everywhere (at home, at work, maximizing free time, maximizing outcomes of hobbies).  I needed to prevent terrible things from happening and I also would re-live prior decisions to determine if they were optimal.  In the end again, the marginal impact that can be had by this continual strategizing and re-calibration is minimal.  Good things will happen, bad things will happen.  The amount of control that we have over when and how they happen them is really quite small.  I guess about 4 or 5 years ago, I read The Black Swan, and Taleb's example of the turkey before thanksgiving got me to start shifting my thinking (which has been a long process).  

Gosh this sounds so much like me. I have a habit, that I recognize as kind of disturbed, of continuously calculating in my mind the most efficient way of doing ANYTHING in order to free up a few more minutes of free time. Like simple routine things such as taking out the garbage. It’s a constant internal dialogue of , for example, “ok, since I’m getting up to take out the garbage I should also do xyz so I’ll gain 2 minutes down the road”.  Of course, the reality is it extends the current task and saves me little down the road because there’s ALWAYS more to do. I do this for almost every action I take, even when I get up to use the bathroom. It’s kind of stressful  honestly. Like you, I examine endlessly  the consequences of the most routine behaviors. It’s weird.

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If my health insurance for the family didn't double if I went part time, I would go part time right now and just start learning to live on less.  

I think if I went part time I could more comfortably work longer because burnout would very likely never happen.

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Here’s a great bit of perspective about an actor giving away his entire fortune to charity.   

https://mindactivist.com/inspirational/14956/crouching-tiger-hidden-dragon-star-donates-entire-714-million-fortune-to-charity

“My dream is to be a happy and normal person,” he told the outlet. “The hardest thing in life is not about how much money you earn, but how to keep a peaceful mindset and live the rest of your life in a simple and carefree manner.”

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On 12/23/2018 at 9:24 PM, Otis said:

This missed the mark a bit. It’s a lot more transactional than this for me. If they paid me my current salary to be the janitor, that would be ok here. 

That said, I’m a real worrier, especially since I’ve had kids. And so despite how well I may be doing at any given time, I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop. That mentality isn’t helping any I’m sure. 

You might want to make time to see a therapist.  Anxiety can be treated effectively.

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14 minutes ago, The Z Machine said:

You might want to make time to see a therapist.  Anxiety can be treated effectively.

I don’t think I have clinical anxiety. I’ve got just a healthy enough dose to keep me on my toes. I think. :unsure:

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I have the same "work is too consuming" problem that the OP is mentioning.  It really started getting to me several years back.  At the time--I made a decision to invest in real estate in order to establish some sources of passive income.  I used the money that I made from renting out those properties to buy another one in full--and am making even more rent now.  Another property or two and I will be able to move  away from my more than full time job and go to something part time. That way I can still feel productive but not have the time and pressure constraints that come with a management position.  I think my point is that you have to "design your life" to achieve the outcome you want.   For a point in my life--working my way to the top was my number one priority.  Once I feel like I accomplished that--my priority changed to wanting a more "comfortable" type of lifestyle.  I had to design my life and change my  investment choices to work my way to accomplish that. Good luck OP. 

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Just now, jvdesigns2002 said:

I have the same "work is too consuming" problem that the OP is mentioning.  It really started getting to me several years back.  At the time--I made a decision to invest in real estate in order to establish some sources of passive income.  I used the money that I made from renting out those properties to buy another one in full--and am making even more rent now.  Another property or two and I will be able to move  away from my more than full time job and go to something part time. That way I can still feel productive but not have the time and pressure constraints that come with a management position.  I think my point is that you have to "design your life" to achieve the outcome you want.   For a point in my life--working my way to the top was my number one priority.  Once I feel like I accomplished that--my priority changed to wanting a more "comfortable" type of lifestyle.  I had to design my life and change my  investment choices to work my way to accomplish that. Good luck OP. 

👍

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3 hours ago, Otis said:

Here’s a great bit of perspective about an actor giving away his entire fortune to charity.   

https://mindactivist.com/inspirational/14956/crouching-tiger-hidden-dragon-star-donates-entire-714-million-fortune-to-charity

“My dream is to be a happy and normal person,” he told the outlet. “The hardest thing in life is not about how much money you earn, but how to keep a peaceful mindset and live the rest of your life in a simple and carefree manner.”

CYF is objective about fame and fortune because he grew up without much money and worked many jobs before he became a star.  He is fortunate to have a very good mother and it is too bad he does not have children of his own.

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On 12/23/2018 at 2:00 PM, DA RAIDERS said:

 if you never went in again, they would simply carry on without you.

Kind of the opposite.  If I don't do it it won't get done.  Work piles up if I'm not there to knock it down.  My boss' function is to charge management hours to my contracts.  And the structure of our place is that everyone has their own charge targets on my projects, so I get all the responsibility for budgets but none of the control.  That leads to me controlling budgets by doing a ton of off hour work myself (the only hours I really control).  Doesn't help that the stats show I've done 80% of the work as the group of four down the hall.  If I take vacation days taken and subtract weekends and holidays worked I'd be way negative this year.   

On top of that my one sounding board (and best friend) passed a couple weeks ago.  This really hurts on many levels.

I'm obviously doing a poor job managing my time and stress levels.  Hopefully next year will be better.

Edited by Sand

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2 hours ago, Sand said:

Kind of the opposite.  If I don't do it it won't get done.  Work piles up if I'm not there to knock it down.  My boss' function is to charge management hours to my contracts.  And the structure of our place is that everyone has their own charge targets on my projects, so I get all the responsibility for budgets but none of the control.  That leads to me controlling budgets by doing a ton of off hour work myself (the only hours I really control).  Doesn't help that the stats show I've done 80% of the work as the group of four down the hall.  If I take vacation days taken and subtract weekends and holidays worked I'd be way negative this year.   

On top of that my one sounding board (and best friend) passed a couple weeks ago.  This really hurts on many levels.

I'm obviously doing a poor job managing my time and stress levels.  Hopefully next year will be better.

This may sound like sarcasm but it isn't. It sounds like you need a new/different job. You are being abused.

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7 hours ago, Sand said:

Kind of the opposite.  If I don't do it it won't get done.  Work piles up if I'm not there to knock it down.  My boss' function is to charge management hours to my contracts.  And the structure of our place is that everyone has their own charge targets on my projects, so I get all the responsibility for budgets but none of the control.  That leads to me controlling budgets by doing a ton of off hour work myself (the only hours I really control).  Doesn't help that the stats show I've done 80% of the work as the group of four down the hall.  If I take vacation days taken and subtract weekends and holidays worked I'd be way negative this year.   

On top of that my one sounding board (and best friend) passed a couple weeks ago.  This really hurts on many levels.

I'm obviously doing a poor job managing my time and stress levels.  Hopefully next year will be better.

Remember, no one is or should be irreplaceable.

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On 12/24/2018 at 2:50 PM, Ranethe said:

Gosh this sounds so much like me. I have a habit, that I recognize as kind of disturbed, of continuously calculating in my mind the most efficient way of doing ANYTHING in order to free up a few more minutes of free time. Like simple routine things such as taking out the garbage. It’s a constant internal dialogue of , for example, “ok, since I’m getting up to take out the garbage I should also do xyz so I’ll gain 2 minutes down the road”.  Of course, the reality is it extends the current task and saves me little down the road because there’s ALWAYS more to do. I do this for almost every action I take, even when I get up to use the bathroom. It’s kind of stressful  honestly. Like you, I examine endlessly  the consequences of the most routine behaviors. It’s weird.

When I read the book how we decide 7 or 8 years ago, it included this anecdote, which also started me examining some of these things: 

Quote

 

n his book, Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain (first published in 1994)  one of the world’s top neuroscientists, Antonio Damasio, profiled his patient, Elliott, one of his most well-known cases.  Formerly a successful businessman, model father and husband, Elliott suffered from ventromedial frontal lobe damage as a result of a tumor and subsequent surgery for removal.

Following his operation, Elliot dispassionately reported to Damasio that his life was falling apart.  While still in the 97th percentile for IQ, Elliot lacked all motivation. His marriage collapsed as did each new business he started.  Damasio found Elliott an “uninvolved spectator” in his own life, “He was always controlled. Nowhere was there a sense of his own suffering, even though he was the protagonist. I never saw a tinge of emotion in my many hours of conversation with him: no sadness, no impatience, no frustration.”

It was clear to Damasio that as a result of his surgery, Elliot was incapable of making decisions, “Elliott emerged as a man with a normal intellect who was unable to decide properly, especially when the decision involved personal or social matters.” Even small decisions were fraught with endless deliberation: making an appointment took 30 minutes, choosing where to eat lunch took all afternoon, even deciding which color pen to use to fill out office forms was a chore.  Turns out Elliott’s lack of emotion paralyzed his decision-making.

 

Not that I am saying there is anything wrong with your brain or emotion, but it really resonated with me because at the time, I couldn’t even make appointments because I wanted them to be timed out best with not having something for work, being near some other thing I could take care of, being adjacent to other appointments or tasks, etc.  it actually got to a point of paralysis and only ended up setting me back overall.  After a while, I just tried to set things in place and then work subsequent things around that.  I’m still not perfect and I still Get mad at myself for missing certain opportunities or doing things suboptimally, but overall I am more effective.

Edited by Long Ball Larry
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16 minutes ago, Long Ball Larry said:

When I read the book how we decide 7 or 8 years ago, it included this anecdote, which also started me examining some of these things: 

Not that I am saying there is anything wrong with your brain or emotion, but it really resonated with me because at the time, I couldn’t even make appointments because I wanted them to be timed out best with not having something for work, being near some other thing I could take care of, being adjacent to other appointments or tasks, etc.  it actually got to a point of paralysis and only ended up setting me back overall.  After a while, I just tried to set things in place and then work subsequent things around that.  I’m still not perfect and I still Get mad at myself for missing certain opportunities or doing things suboptimally, but overall I am more effective.

That’s interesting stuff. I do the same thing regarding appts, etc. No dead time is my prevailing philosophy...and an endless source of frustration when the goal is not met. Efficient use of time above all.

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12 hours ago, Sand said:

Kind of the opposite.  If I don't do it it won't get done.  Work piles up if I'm not there to knock it down.  My boss' function is to charge management hours to my contracts.  And the structure of our place is that everyone has their own charge targets on my projects, so I get all the responsibility for budgets but none of the control.  That leads to me controlling budgets by doing a ton of off hour work myself (the only hours I really control).  Doesn't help that the stats show I've done 80% of the work as the group of four down the hall.  If I take vacation days taken and subtract weekends and holidays worked I'd be way negative this year.   

On top of that my one sounding board (and best friend) passed a couple weeks ago.  This really hurts on many levels.

I'm obviously doing a poor job managing my time and stress levels.  Hopefully next year will be better.

sadly, they would, in fact, carry on without you.  

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"Disconnecting" gives me anxiety.  I find it much easier to just take the calls and answer the emails even when I'm on leave.  :shrug:

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11 hours ago, Ranethe said:

That’s interesting stuff. I do the same thing regarding appts, etc. No dead time is my prevailing philosophy...and an endless source of frustration when the goal is not met. Efficient use of time above all.

Inefficiency can be very rewarding and emotionally fulfilling. 

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1 hour ago, Arizona Ron said:

"Disconnecting" gives me anxiety.  I find it much easier to just take the calls and answer the emails even when I'm on leave.  :shrug:

I agree for the most part. I’d rather just deal with the stuff than worry about if things are getting done. When my wife and I take vacations, I usually tell her I need 30 minutes each morning to just whip through emails and return any calls that can’t really wait. It keeps me relaxed and allows me not to worry throughout the day.

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