Sunday, August 1, 2010

I work best when away

In the news this week a report about Generation Y not being as slack as we originally thought was released into the wild. This is good news for me being within the age bracket – it turns out I am not lazy; I just can’t be stuffed. The report looked at statistics with the work life balance in Australia and who it sucks the most for. Turns out, it sucks to be anyone within the community services, professions, and management type roles. Oh wait, I’m in that bracket as well.

Every day is a struggle for me at work. It is not because it is hard, or that it is too easy, but that at times I would rather be standing outside central station asking anybody who walked past if they had some spare change for the train while scratching at my beard. A lot of the time, I suffer from CBF syndrome, and wonder why I got into my field as it is; except when I come back from holiday. The first day back at work after a holiday is the most productive day of my working year. I blow away every bit of work put in front of me out of the water, but the following couple of days, my productivity level starts to decay.

I found that Productivity, P, decays over time relative to how much productivity there was initially, ignoring external stimulus such as corporate piss ups.

Therefore Productivity decays relative to the amount of P initially and therefore modelled like that of radioactive decay


Where P is the Productivity, t is time since holiday, and k is a constant dependent on the work love/hate relationship

Since the derivative of P is proportional to P, mere year 12 maths tells us that P is the form of an exponential function.

i.e. P(t)=e^(kt)

as dP/dt=ke^(kt)=kP(t)

Or as a general solution

i.e. P(t)=ce^(kt)

To solve for c, observing that after a good holiday this year (five sweet weeks)

t_0=0, P(0)=100

therefore P(0)=ce^0=100



To find k, my holiday enthusiasm has a half life of approximately 48 hours. Not as bad as nuclear waste, but shorter than a season of Ladette to Lady. (If it was around a unit of a Spick and Specks season, I would have been a CEO by now.)

P(2 days)=P(172800 secs)=100e^172800k=50


then ln(e^172800k)=ln(1/2)


therefore k=-4.011×10^(-6)

This is ignoring, of course, outside influences that can have an effect on Productivity, like moral for example. By investigating how a different stimulus affects the Productivity equation, managers would be able to find an optimum balance of work and holiday regardless of annual leave.

Everyone would save money and time, and I might be able to go to sleep without grinding my teeth. But do you think managers would give me that time off? Not on your life, so now the only option is for me to find a job where I can get paid for something I love to do.

People talk about when they start making enough money from their hobbies that they suddenly start getting "paid for something they love to do". At the end of the day, whenever something becomes a fulltime job, when you are forced to sit down and work, when the wellbeing of your family depends upon you, it becomes a burden. And that thing you once loved to do is full time job 2.0.

This is why I always take a poo at the office outside the designated break times, because that way it’s doing something that I love and I’m getting paid. Not only that, I end up saving (wait for the pun...) a butt load (zing) of money for using someone else's toilet paper.

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