taKEN BY ME on IphONE: flickr.com/photos/andrewbrackin

Don’t Waste Time Being Bored. 

Forget about the vanity aspect of work & life. 

In the modern workplace employees optimise for vanity. How can I seem like I’m doing more work than my co-workers, how can I look productive while checking Facebook, I’m not going to do anymore work today but I want to be last out of the office. The latter seems to reside in some startup culture and is very negative for a company if not sorted. This is how people burn out. Worrying about everything other than their work.

The managers see all of these people in the office at 6pm and are pleased, when honestly most of the employees could have finished this average amount of work in a morning.

When you take control of your job path you don’t have to fall into this fallacy. Yesterday I had some meetings in San Francisco, did some coding,sped up bunchy, had dinner with friends and made some cool electronics with them until 11pm at NoiseBridge Hackerspace in San Francisco. In the past (usually when working on things I’m not interested in) I may have had to sit at my desk for hours to achieve the same amount of work, just because I was slower, read news, checking twitter periodically, etc. I’d also spend the rest of the day thinking about work. My worry about unproductivity was making me unproductive.

Now that I’m in San Francisco I have a lot more to do and more people to see on a daily basis. I don’t leave time in my life for TV (unless its something great) and try not to waste time at night skimming through Twitter. When I want to do something enjoyable I just go and do it and forget about work. When I’m working I ‘try’ (doesn’t always work but has today) to get it done. Rather than watching some TV or doing something with limited work value I dedicate that time to doing something fun or something that pushes me forward.

In a shared house of Thiel Fellows I’m staying in an enviroment where everyone is working on all kinds of amazing things, at all times of day. If I wake up at 8:30 half of my house have left and the other half are still asleep. I’m fine with this. I have to try not to get wrapped up in the vanity aspect of work.

When you’re in a room of incredibly talented people you have to avoid your natural inclination to try and one-up others and focus on what can you actually achieve, rather than how much time can you spend looking like you’re achieving it. I can collaborate with others, request honest feedback and not feel like I’ve got a weight on my back.

If you’re envious of others that aren’t spending their days enduring a world of boredom then you should probably be trying something new too.

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