Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A quick thought. I've been reading about work, and thinking about the nature of work, and well, working on work.

I've been thinking about who I am and what I am, with regards to nature of my work. I think I'm really quite complex as a person. I do enjoy working hard, actually. But I'm easily distracted - unless I get into my 'zone', in which case it's not easy for me to break out of. Ironically, I enjoy the stress of handling multiple work - I imagine them as multiple incoming missiles to be shot down before they hit me between the eyes - yet I get stressed over handling the admin and pacifying multiple people.

So was trying to make sense of all these... and I feel convicted, personally, that God really wants me to work hard and not be a sluggard - never to let my guard down. The dangers are so obvious in Proverbs.

And yet, emotions and fears whisper and question and ask me whether I'm sure I can make it.

I reply, "I can't make it on my own, but by God's grace I will grow to work faster and more responsibly."

Still... something I realised is that my 'schedule' auto-expands to meet whatever is at hand. I think I like having a few big goals all clearly laid out, even if it takes years, so that I can be encouraged to work faster so that I can move on to the next goal.

But if it's just a piece by piece, one task at a time, somehow I think I tend to shift into perfectionist mode, taking a long time to finish that task to the best of my ability.

I think the climax of that came when my boss emailed me to say that I produce great videos but I take far too long on them. And she wasn't happy that I didn't seem to have produced very much, apart from the two videos. So I explained to her that I do put in quality and so on, but I also pondered about Hong Teck's words (as lifted from Philippians): we are called not to serve ourselves, but to serve others according to their needs.

So that quote made me think. For whom am I working, really? And am I Christ's servant - or my own boss? A lot of times I work in an individualistic mode - working for my own pleasure and satisfaction rather than to please my employer in Jesus' name.

So, I've been changing tack recently. I've decided to put on a 'just-do-whatever-is-necessary-to-meet-the-basic-requirements' approach. Not a shoddy slapstick approach, but being economical in a common-sense way (like how if a customer asks you for a simple $5 wooden chair, you don't go and carve an exquisite baroque armchair and then slap him with a markup of $5000 for your work of art. It's a beauty, but it's not what the customer/client/boss wanted.)
Philippians 2:4
Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

I think I've started improving in my punctuality in delivering work. And I realised I enjoy delivering more. But at present, I can't handle the workload of work + ministry well because I have a lot on my plate already (I had my attachment AND two clients to handle at one time... with urgent bug fixes some more... STRESS. Not to mention scriptwriting). And to be honest, I think I need to say 'no' more often. Better to say 'no' than to say 'yes' and then not deliver.

And to be more urgent in delegation. I must learn from Jethro's advice to Moses!

Not easy huh? Especially when I'm leading a creative team in children's ministry. There are so many challenges - and I'm just starting out. So thank God for the "Heart of An Artist" book. It's very timely. =)

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