|Productivity needs to be quantified. Stress Drilon, mga besh.|
Sometime after that meeting announcing the very real effects of the lean years on our workload, our Soon To Be Boss approached Cube Mate and I about possible higher education outside. It turns out that in the meeting for Full Timers, it’s been agreed that CM and I should take on higher ed since we’re the only ones without it or not currently working on it. STB forwarded details about where to apply.
So now we’re hustling to make it to the deadline. Which is two weeks from now. And even if it’s not that particular school, will probably be applying to others.
It was around this time last year that I started to feel the pressure of not having anything to show for my time. Everyone’s favorite question: “What are you working on right now?” This is probably the most nerve wracking and anxiety inducing for creatives and those in academia. Particularly since last year, mostly everyone in the Office had something to show, and were very very productive.
I’ve never been one to care about keeping it up with whomever, but when the institution you work for asks you to fill up multiple forms about how productive you’ve been in the last x years, and you have to skip whole charts, it’s like your entire reason for being has amounted to nothing. Nothing notable, nothing to contribute. So when the roster of Part Timers had a lot to show for their time last year, it hit me so hard that it landed me on a downward spiral that now requires me regular therapy and medication that eats up a huge chunk of my pithy and pitiful Part Time Pay.
The Cube Mate also recently disclosed that the feeling of losing passion for what we do, that feeling of stagnation and not doing much also hit her—adding to that desire to get out, even for a while. Which is really odd, because Cube Mate does have something to show, but those “outputs” are not qualified for the forms of “productivity.”
Also had a really long talk online with a Creative Acquiantance (we’re not that close, but we have a lot of mutuals, we talk about our frail mental health) who has been quite productive with really good projects, and yet has been feeling anxious and depressed. Someone asked her why she's been feeling shitty despite the really cool projects she's been a part of. “Working on cool projects does not guarantee happiness or peace of mind.” People kept giving her work because "mukhang kaya pa naman niya." (Looks like she could still handle it.) But in reality, it’s even made her feel worse. Productivity at the cost of poor mental health. Nope.
|The higher education race life: marathon or a sprint? I prefer walking, actually.|
I don’t know why but a lot of people in my line(s) of work have been feeling this crush, this burden of needing to produce something, even if said productions aren’t really paid that much.
I’ve learned my lesson, a very costly one at that. Even if now I’m trying to get stuff done, I’m conscious enough not to compare myself with how others are doing. When others ask what I’m working on, I’ll be appropriating this response from Financial Best Life:“I’m working on having the best life for myself.” Let them perform. Each one of us runs at a different “phase of production.” Trying to run and lose my breath to catch up with everyone is not worth the price of my peace of mind and sanity.