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Why do we feel worse when working less than overworking?

This is my third post ever, sorry if it's not that well structured or written!

First of, a bit about me:
I've been programing for 5 years, and working in the industry for around 4.
This is important as the issue explained below has come into play recently, when the expectations people have on me is greater.

The issue:
We (my company) are in a position at the moment where workload is minimal, maybe enough for 4-6 hours of work a day although we should be working full time.

I've been feeling really weird recently, as if I don't meet my boss standards or I don't do as much work as he might like to, although he has never said anything about it, nor has he ever required us to do 8h a day.

This is kinda weird, because I do more work than the majority of employees and even my boss, but I feel bad when I don't manage to fill in all those hours. It feels really unproductive and a waste of time to be sat there looking at a screen.

Weird thing is, it's not the case when I overwork for some reason, then I don't feel bad at all.

When talking to some friends about this, I've found out It's more common than I expected it to be, not only for technology related work.

I know about Impostor Syndrome, but this does not seem to fit into that category.

To finish, I would like to ask you guys some questions:

  • [1] Have you suffered this at any point?
  • [2] What you think is the reason for this?
  • [3] What do you do to overcome this?

Top comments (5)

wps13 profile image
Willane Paiva

Hello, Manolo.

I went thought something similar lately, I would spend some days working only 2h or having nothing to do at all. I ended up getting somehow used to it, since the amount of work depends on external conditionals and I use my spare time at the office to study.

nombrekeff profile image

Nice, it's a good way of thinking about it! That is pretty similar to how we work here normally, mornings are for high-quality work like implementing features, fixing some critical bugs, and afternoons are mostly for refactoring, design, meetings, etc...

I usually do heavy tasks in the mornings as I'm a lot more fresh, and my brain still works :P

nombrekeff profile image

I agree, thanks for the advice man!
I guess it's something to get used to.