Sometimes it takes more than the time allotted. That's not what I'm talking about.
Sometimes, it takes exactly the time allotted but even when you're not on the clock, you're thinking about it. Work takes up mental real estate as well as time.
There are jobs where I could completely disconnect unless the work was in front of me but those jobs were simple. Anything more than effectively manual labour has a different effect on me.
Any work I do, I end up caring deeply about. Or I get bored and leave.
To care deeply means that I'm not just committing time. I'm committing idle moments of thinking, a constant part of my attention, and--sometimes--my worry.
This is true for a job in the traditional sense of the term but it's also true for a job as in a contract, a retainer or an engagement.
I'm putting to bed a current job and I'm now thinking about what the next thing I pick up is.
I've been so driven by what's available and helping in any way that I can that I haven't thought as hard about who I would like to help and where I would like to help them get to. Here are some of the questions:
- What would I be happy to wake up in the middle of the night with an idea for?
- What would I be thinking about in my idle moments anyway?
- What problem would I gladly be working on constantly?
I don't fight for separation between life and work any more. Instead, I fight to choose good work.