Ubiquitous Work

Everywhere I look, work has been done.

Every chair set up for a conference. Every clean floor. Every nicely folded shirt. Every customer service question answered. Every meal cooked. Even tasks completed by machine were designed, coded, and constructed by someone.

I marvel, thinking, “For everything I see done, someone had to do that.”

I think everyone feels somewhat squished at work. Everyone has some sort of productivity standard to strive toward. Everyone has someone pushing them to more — more efficiency, more widgets produced, higher scores, or more money.  More patients seen, more trash cans emptied, more food cooked, more files reviewed, more code written, more minds expanded. Realistic or not, we all have our expectations of more.

I have observed this many times at the hospital where I work. I know my productivity standards and I’ve gotten to know some of the standards and expectations of other departments. A lot is expected of everyone. I am constantly amazed how many dedicated people it takes to make something as large as a hospital run. Work is truly ubiquitous.

“For everything I see done, someone had to do that.”

work in progress

As I continually realize this, it makes me less focused on and anxious about my own numbers and productivity. Now, don’t get me wrong, I still know my requirements and strive for them everyday, but I realize that helping others with their tasks is beneficial too. I spare a few minutes to grab supplies, take out a trash bag, console an infant, and make some copies. And although these aren’t technically my duties, they help someone else make their productivity and expectations just a little bit easier. It’s made me be less focused on only my job and truly try to help the team. I’m far from perfect at it, and I definitely lose this ability on particularly busy days, but it has created bonds among my co-workers that are far more valuable than a few minutes lost helping someone with a task.

See if you can change your mind set and marvel as I have that, “Everything I see done, someone had to do that!”

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