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Weekly Technetic #34: Responsibility
It's really difficult to come up with something each week under normal circumstances. When you add in a job that's getting into crunch time, a relationship that is finally becoming what I want it to be, and the rigors of the world, even these relatively short posts are hard to manage.
In our lives, we have a lot of responsibilities. Some of them come into conflict. Some are of higher priority than others, so we need to take care of them first, even if they use up a lot of our otherwise free time. The older we get, the more responsibilities we gain, whether from a career, a household, a family, or just the knowledge of the world we have gained in our lives. But the responsibilities of work tend to loom the largest.
Though not part of the Keys, the traditional or "Protestant" work ethic is something the technetic should respect and even strive for. We do the work, we handle our responsibilities. We don't slack off just because we'd rather be lazy. Great men throughout history have been hard workers, and there's no reason we shouldn't want to emulate them in that respect.
That said, it's easy to overwork, especially nowadays. For most occupations, the 40-hour week is already too much time spent at work; there simply isn't enough to do in that time, so we end up adding useless meetings to our calendars. Or worse, creating entire departments and mandates, such as HR and the indoctrination known as "diversity training", that serve little purpose beyond filling up the schedule.
Even if you don't have a white-collar job—for that matter, even if you work from home—the potential for overexertion is very much present. And that's because we take our responsibilities, the tasks we assigned ourselves or were assigned by others, and attempt to go beyond them. It's natural to want to impress, of course. Beyond that, however, the outdated maxim of "work hard, and someone will notice" is still taught to us by our elders.
But it's not true. Working hard when you don't have to will only wear you out. Instead, we should work smarter. If you have free time in your day job, don't spend it adding more responsibilities to your plate. No, it's better to hone your skills, or even to pick up new ones. Seek out knowledge, as we should always do, but specifically knowledge that will help you in the field you have chosen as your own.