Being More Work Productive: How Am I Going to Achieve This?

From Adam McFarland’s Latest Blog Post:

“I value time and freedom over money. I didn’t leave my job to make more money…It was everything else that I wasn’t happy with – the purpose behind the work I was doing, the lack of freedom at a traditional 9 -5, and the bureaucracy of a system that prevented people from doing their best.”

Quote I left on his comment page:

“To me, there is no purpose in what I’m doing at work, but I can improve personally through it. ”

I have been meaning to do a post of this magnitude, but reading my friend’s Adam blog yesterday triggered me to write about it. My job pays the bills and allows me the freedom on the weekends to take trips, rest, or do whatever. It is though, the same thing over and over again.

After one realizes that this is what it is happening, a person can do a couple of things: snap and quit the same-thing-every-day job and find another one that will feel the same a couple of months (or weeks) later; lose hope and motivation in life and continue to live their lives this way for the next 40 years; or stop complaining about work, find what’s good about it, figure out an exit strategy, and improve as a person.

Ever since I got into Corporate America, I have been gearing up for the great escape. I didn’t care how I was going to leave and not look back, but as many young people my age, I knew I didn’t want to live the lives of our parents. I knew it would be a dumb ass idea to quit and do nothing, so I kept thinking about what I should do while being paid.

Things Oke sucks at:

  • Communication – I’m not that bad, but could get better by talking to more people and holding myself accountable by getting back to them at a reasonable time.
  • Time/Project Management – This is probably the biggest weakness. Yes, I get to and leave work on time (who isn’t going to leave work on time?), but on the basis of getting the most important task/activity done on time, I’m truly the worst person ever!
  • Professionalism – Anyone can play this important characteristic off. I’m one of the best at it. I want to be able to be more professional about what I do at work and with hopes that it will translate to me being the businessman I want to be.
  • Laziness – Being a sloth at work is one of the easiest things to accomplish. Once something is completed and there isn’t much else to do, one becomes complacent and loses direction in what else that needs to be completed for the rest of the day.
  • Daydreamer – Daydreaming is a past-time that isn’t going anywhere. I daydream about everything: what I’m going to do after work, how I’m going to surprise my girlfriend, the next business opportunity that I want to do, what I’m going to write in my novel, or if I’m going to go to sleep early and get the rest I need.

There are many behavior issues I am forgetting, but the point I’m making is that these are aspects of my working life that need to be improved, in order for me to be successful when I decide to hang up the Corporate America gig.

So, from now until I leave, I’m going to get better at being a better employee. I will see what I suck at in the present moment at work, write about it, develop a way I can improve on that negative, and determine how I can improve my overall personality as the person I want to be.

I wonder if I’m wasting my time doing this, but it will give me something to do, other than daydream about going home. I think I am more productive at home than at work. Kind of scary, especially since I’m not getting paid for one over the other. As the months to come, I’ll let everyone know how I’m progressing, and if anyone can learn from this experiment I’m doing.

6 responses to “Being More Work Productive: How Am I Going to Achieve This?”

  1. This is awesome Oke. You’re totally not wasting your time. I think it’ll rejuvenate you and give you something to focus on at work (because I know you’re like me, the work itself is actually pretty boring and “easy”).

    Looking forward to reading more about it.


  2. Good well written post but severely flawed. “So, from now until I leave, I’m going to get better at being a better employee.” Why become a better employee? You always say how you’re trying to start your own venture eventually. Just go there so you can be counted present for roll call and get a check lmaooo. In the meanwhile work on your work planning and working on your great escape like other entrepreneurs have including Adam, who seems much happier. Unless you change your mind and get complacent with the iron ceiling. Not judging I’m just saying…

  3. Think about it the things you say you suck at communication, professionalism, laziness, and day dreaming are most likey related to how you feel about Corporate America. I am quite sure that if you ventured out and started your own thing that you were really passionate about it would be a diffrent story altogether. Most people who work in jobs that they are not passionate about become apathetic and rinse repeat everyday.

  4. In response to Ben:

    Oke, I think you are on the right path. Improving yourself as an employee will not only help you build character and work ethic at the office, it will also help you become a better person in general. Being a “paycheck player” which is what Ben is asking you to do will not only hurt your employer’s bottom line, it will deny your employer’s client the service they need. And why should they suffer because you hate your job?

    Let’s think about it. Even a published writer relies on people in “Corporate America” for everything from publishing to stocking bookshelves. If these people didn’t take you seriously then you wouldn’t sell as many books.

    Most successful entrepreneurs took every job seriously. It’s in their nature. So keep up with it.

  5. Adam,

    Thanks for the encouragement. Like you said, it will make things more interesting and help me in whatever else I want to do in the long-term.


    I think you are not seeing what I mean about being a better employee. All the attributes that I stated and many more are areas that I need to work on, that will help me when I do my own thing, once I leave Corporate America. I can always improve in being a better person at work, there is no reason for me to piss on the negativity of work. This will only make me resent it even more and produce shitty work that will ultimately make my employer look down at what I’m doing. It is a good feeling fucking up on things and improving, while getting paid at the same time. Being at work 4 days now is going to help me break free and establish myself even more. Just wait and see…

    Thanks for your words Rick. When I wrote this post I thought about everything. I thought about how I can improve as a person, I thought how I have already changed from working at my 3rd job, and I have thought long and hard about what I want to do next in my life. We have different opinions on work and the role that it plays in our lives. I have finally realized that it can help me more, than just receiving a check.

  6. “Most successful entrepreneurs took every job seriously. It’s in their nature. So keep up with it.” Ehh…not necessarily true I’ve heard a lot entrepreneur stories where they constantly bumped heads with their bosses and or just showed up tas a means to finance their venture but were really motivated to succeed on their own because they didn’t like working for somebody else for various reasons. We can debate on the validity of this statement all day but I think you all are missing the point of what I’m saying, no matter how harsh and sarcastic I said it. The point is if you really want to work for yourself you keep your job to keep the lights on and can still get work done for your employer being very productive but at the same time use it as a springboard to get to where you really want to be. Time management is the key. Nobody work 8 hours straight everyday you have ample free time some days but don’t make good use of it. Lol @ saying I’m asking Oke to be a paycheck player. It’s both hilarious and false. Sounds like you took what I said a little too personal. “Improving yourself as an employee will not only help you build character and work ethic at the office, it will also help you become a better person in general.” Really? Now this is entering the realm of ethics and psychology. Improving yourself as an employee does not help you build character or make you a better person in general. That is a laughable assessment. If that was the case there would be far less assholes in corporate America. Those are qualities and values that you get from your upbringing point blank.

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