How Much Work is Enough?

Apple, Chair, Computer, Desk, Eyewear, FurnitureAre you ever satisfied with the amount of work you accomplish? How often do you look back at your day and say, “I’m 100% happy with what I got done.” If you’re like me, it doesn’t happen often.

In his new book, Scary Close, NY Times Best Selling Author Donald Miller talks about his struggle’s with work and identity. He said he had become convinced that no amount of work was enough. He rarely was satisfied with how much he had accomplished. He was either exhausted from his tireless pursuit or he would quit, and resign to slothfulness. Who wants to live a life of exhaustion only to never reach some unobtainable level of production?

You can get his book here: Scary Close by Donald Miller

He suggests that those of us who are never satisfied with our accomplishments, believe nobody will love us until we’re perfect. What an insightful perspective! Maybe it’s not love you’re looking for at work. What is it for you? Stability? Appreciation? More money? For your boss to tap you on the shoulder and tell you, you’re really good at what you do?

The crazy thing is, production at work has traditionally been measured by the wrong means. How do you know when enough is enough?

  • Time – We all know that time spend doesn’t mean squat, yet some of us are paid for how long we sit in our chair everyday. Is it possible to make your company more money in 30 minutes than another employee makes in a week? In the words of Jim Rohn, “Of course!” It’s what you do with your time that should matter.
  • Exhaustion – Some take pride in working themselves into the ground. Working through lunch and staying at the office into the night have become badges of honor. As if to say “Look at how hard I’m working!” It’s only a mater of time before they crash and burn. An over-worked stressed out employee is the last thing a company needs.
  • Busyness – The busier you are the harder you’re working right? We know this isn’t true. Recent studies show that one’s IQ suffers less from smoking pot than from multitasking.


Photo By Kent Henderson

There are more I could mention but you get the point. So what do you work for? What drives you? Here is a list of questions that will help you get the most out of your work day.

  1. Did I do my best today?
  2. Was I brave?
  3. Was I honest?
  4. Did I serve others with my talents?
  5. Did I plant good seeds that will lead to growth for me and my company?
  6. Did I connect with others in a meaningful and helpful way today?
  7. Did I work for a greater purpose rather than for my own validation?

If you can look back at your day and answer yes to these questions, be proud of yourself. What you did today wasn’t perfect but it was enough.

Photo By Mikhail Pavstyuk

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