in entrepreneurship

Our Work Is Never, Ever Over

We’ve forever been trained to “finish” things. Our chores. Our vegetables. Our homework. Our work for the day. Completion has always been the end-goal.

But as Seth Godin so aptly put this week - in a way that really resonated especially with me, our work is never, ever over.

“…there’s always one more tweet to make, post to write, words with friends move to complete. There’s one more bit of email, one more lens you can construct, one more comment you can respond to. If you want to, you can be never finished.”

Godin calls it the “sea of infinity”. It’s a great expanse of everything and nothing that each of us face, every single day. Especially those of us who call ourselves entrepreneurs. There’s no clock to look at. No one to tell us to go home. No set hours to clock.

It’s an eternal struggle of never knowing when enough is enough. When done means done. When you can say, “I’ve done everything I wanted to do today”.

We make lists, but for everything we check off, we write two more things down. We long to be “busy” and wear our busy status as though it’s a badge of honor, something we’ve accomplished through our never-ending cycle of hard work.

Because as Godin says, when things slow down, when things feel “done”, in our world, we’re afraid that done might mean the end. That if there’s nothing to do, something’s wrong. Relaxation, to many of us, is synonymous with unemployment.

But it’s not about ever being “done” – you never will be. They’ll always be more to do. Something else that can fill the void and occupy your time.

The trick isn’t to do less – but rather, to accept that your work is never, ever over.

Godin calls it a dance. I call it the hustle. Whatever it is, it’ll always be there.

Our work is never over, and that’s okay.

(Photo credit)

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  1. Yup. I read that Godin post earlier this week. It was a helpful way to reframe my thinking about all of the work. I’d love to end the day and say that I completed everything I wanted to, but most of the time, that’s not going to happen. As you said, the trick is to be okay with that and know when to close the laptop and call it quits. Or, at least, that’s my challenge anyway. ;) 

    Have a great weekend, friend! :)

    • It really, really resonated with me (Godin’s post, that is). It’s a constant work-in-progress for me – being able to say “I’m done” at a certain point each day. In a career that constantly demands being “plugged in”, I need to discover ways to force myself to unplug more consistently, without feeling bad about it. Have a great weekend, too!

  2. My biggest challenge is always feeling like I “should” be doing more. I’m a mix of employed outside the house (which fills my early mornings and nights) and work at home (during the middle of the day), so I feel like there’s never a moment when I can put my feet up and say, “I’m DONE!” As much as I dislike the 9-5, there are some benefits to having work hours so clearly deliniated. That is, as long as you don’t bring your 9-5 work into your off hours.

    I’m trying to focus on 3 daily Most Important Tasks and giving myself permission for guilt-free relaxation when I’ve gotten those done.

  3. Love the “dance” or “hustle” way of thinking about this. Absolutely – there will always be more to do and ways to make things better, but that is part of the adventure. Thanks for this post!