On the deadliness of routine

The problem with being inherently lazy and having a boredom threshold roughly on a level with that of the cats (‘Oh, that’s interes… never mind, I’m doing something else now’) is that in order to do pretty much anything in a day, I need some structure.

The problem with the 9-5.30, 5 days a week in the office structure, is that it makes my soul itch and breeds foul rebellion in my dark heart. I dislike even the necessity of setting an alarm clock to make sure that my regimented day gets off to its timely start. It’s that measuring out one’s life in coffee spoons feeling that I kick against, like a surly teen at a bus shelter. Give me back my time, you bastards, I can manage it far more efficiently and pleasantly.

I’ve been working consistently for too, too many years already and I get my  job done. Ultimately, no matter how boring, however much I really don’t want to edit that manuscript, write that email or decipher that fucking Excel spreadsheet, the work happens near enough on time. The few interesting things happen sooner, of course, but I’ve got some annoying completeness gene that won’t allow me to let stuff slide too much.

This is in no way related to any silly goals that have been set, or alleged SMART objectives, or bonus schemes, because all of that HR crap is just so much pointless form-filling. Three points here: (1) I’ll do what needs to be done, regardless of what your funny bits of paper say; (2) bonuses are bullshit, hire competent staff and then pay them well to start with:  if you need to incentivise with more money then let me refer you back to the beginning of point (2);  (3) Netflix? If that ‘Freedom & Responsibility Culture’ stuff is true, call me, ‘kay?

Getting stuff done is also not related to whether I’m in the office, at home, out for lunch or wandering round the shops. I can think anywhere, I can handle email from most places and I can write at 8 in the morning or 10 at night. Generally I think more clearly and work better between about 6am and 9am. Which is why, of course, it makes sense that I spend that time getting up, showered, dressed, eating breakfast and sitting in traffic, so I can arrive at an arbitrarily designated building just in time to start winding down for a bit.

Sing ho! for the industrial day in the post-industrial age.