It’s been a long time since my last post. This is mostly just because I’ve been completely run off my feet, both with work, and here at home. I think that’s mostly positive – it’s good that my life is (slowly) returning to normal again.
My work hours have been slowly ramping upwards; I’ve completed a fortnight of 3 hour days, and a fortnight of 4 hour days, and am now starting my 5th week back at work, and starting to work 5 hour days. Of course, the plan of starting with shorter days was to help ease me back into work, but I’ve found that all along the way I’ve generally exceeded those planned hours, and by significant amounts when I’ve needed to travel up to London for meetings.
This is poor discipline on my part; in practice the company will let me work as many hours as I want; it’s purely up to me to remember to walk away when I’ve completed the right number of hours for the day or week. The problem is that I’m trying to learn a new role, meet all the people I’m going to be working with, and grow my skills in a completely new industry. And that just doesn’t naturally fit into “short” days. So I end up working longer than I should, which probably explains why I’ve continued to find work much more tiring that I expected. I’m coping at the moment by finishing work, and then getting an hour or two of rest or sleep before I get on with the remainder of my day.
When I discussed this with the nice lady from IBM’s occupational health department she assured me that this was wasn’t abnormal, not to worry about it, but to try harder to keep to the planned hours that she’d originally laid out for me. Which is undoubtedly good advice, but more easily said than done, given the needs of the business and my new role. Hopefully my stamina will eventually catch up with the demands that I’m making of it, but in the meantime I am trying to keep more closely to the hours of the phased restart plan.
Interestingly, when I do overwork there are two main symptoms that manifest themselves; my bowel reacts badly, and I suffer with worse urgency and frequency issues, and (particularly if I’ve been doing anything physical) I get discomfort in my pelvis.
That has been particularly noticeable this week, as I’ve been preparing for my first customer briefing; I’ve been working much longer than my normal hours, and (I think) as a consequence suffering badly through the nights, having to get up and make frequent visits to the toilet. Which of course means I’m more tired the next day, leading to something of a vicious circle.
More (self-)discipline is required!