I am the Lame Duck Department Head with six weeks to go in my current position before I up and move to Connecticut, and this lame duck thing is getting old. I’ve been working on the Anne Transition Document, now up to 14 pages, that briefly lists what my duties are in different areas (electronic resources, systems, vendor liaison, personnel, etc., etc.), who will be doing each during the vacancy in my position – with a brief “how to do it” description of each thing. That’s the goal, anyway.
Reality, though, is something else completely.
My goal for this week was to complete my annual report. Have I finished it? Not hardly – I’ve barely finished the statistics portion, and that’s easy since I plug figures into a spreadsheet with formulas to do the calculations for me. Writing the text part will take uninterrupted time that I don’t seem to have.
Why? Because I’m transitioning my responsibilities to other people, walking them through things that I do routinely. But that means spending hours doing one thing that usually takes me about 20 minutes since I’ve been doing it for ages. I understand it and don’t begrudge the time it takes, having inherited things I didn’t know to do myself – and knowing I’m going into that in my new position.
I need to extend the day – the 24-hour one, not the work day – by another 4 hours because there are simply too many things to do: writing the annual report, weeding files, going to a million meetings, contacting vendors, doing computer updates, documenting, conference calls, spending time with staff. Not to mention healthy eating, some exercise (even if it’s just walking), having time away from the office to pack and prepare for my move.
I’m overloaded and getting out of balance, and I don’t want to end my time here working nights and weekends to fit everything in – but I also don’t want to leave people I’ve worked with for years in a fix by not leaving things tidy. And I also want to go into my new job feeling rested and prepared, not hungover from lack of sleep and stress.
So I’m hanging on to what I can. I’m drinking my water, planning and tracking my food, staying in touch with friends, getting as much sleep as I can. Let’s hope things settle down soon.