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. ┬áMore 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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