The hardest days aren’t necessarily the longest ones. They’re not necessarily the ones where the most important decisions are made. There not even the one where there is a crisis around every turn.
The days that cause me the most trouble are the ones where you never manage to come up for air. Nothing I’m doing is especially hard – I’m not unlocking the secrets of the atom. Nothing I touch on a daily basis could even remotely be considered a matter of life or death. Even so, that doesn’t mean that it’s not without its pitfalls.
The pitfall today was a simple matter of volume – of too many people wanting too much information compounded by the fact that it’s utterly impossible to really concentrate while sitting in a cube farm. The layout simply isn’t designed for that. In fact, they’re designed precisely to encourage “collaboration” (read, idle chatter). As wonderful as a team may be, there’s no greater killer of focused concentration, in my considered opinion, than cramming as many people as possible into a given area and telling them then to go forth and do great work.
Today was mentally exhausting even though I have precious little to show for it. Tomorrow will be mentally exhausting too. So will the day after that. It’s possible that every time you see me my brain is just a little more exhausted than it was the day before.
Even on the mundane days, I think all I need is a couple of minutes to breathe between the endless rounds of pointless questions and unstoppable conversation. It’s the kind of wish only a fairy godmother could grant, because there isn’t a chance of it happening in the real world.