My friend listened to my complaint about wanting to be caught up at work. I feel like I'm one day ahead and two weeks behind. To me, the ideal would be to leave every day having acted in some way on every meeting request that came across my desk.
"That's unrealistic," she said, "because the minute you get up from your desk there will be another phone call or email. You won't get a break."
"By the end of the week then."
"How about Thursday for being caught up?"
"Why not Friday?"
"Friday is the last day of the week. People will realize they haven't sent you their meeting request and don't want it on their mind over the weekend. Friday and Monday are your busiest days."
Poo-poo! Friday is the end of the week. People will want to focus on getting out of the office and on to the weekend.
She was right. Yesterday there were 78 emails when I arrived at my desk at 8:20 a.m. The only breaks from constant work were to take employment papers to the finance office, pick up forms from the travel office, and have lunch. The only time in the two weeks of work that lunch wasn't eaten at my desk.
Keep in mind that work was constant. At times there were four lines ringing at once on my direct line. Some people called the legislative staff to have them ask me for a meeting with the congressman. The incoming stream of emails was constant during the day. With the congressman and the chief of staff both out of the office, I left work early. At 5:50 p.m. The first time before 6:30 in the two weeks that I've been working.
Before shutting down my computer, I checked the number of emails in my inbox. 72! It's progress.