Every once in a while I’ll wake up and decide it’s time to clean. Wash my desk. Clean the computer screen. Do laundry. Organize my papers. It’s a mad rush of exertion and by the time it’s over I’m often sweating. But it’s done and I can sit down at my nice clean desk and finally start to think about getting some work done. Boy was that worth it.
Work is like this too. For an engineer who’s obsessed with product, operations tasks are the worst. It’s like cleaning your apartment, except you’re moving stuff around on the servers instead. This is necessary of course, so you do it like you take a day off to pay taxes and to settle accounting. It sucks, but you slog through it because that’s the only thing to do. Once you’re done you can finally sit down at your desk and think about all those fun and challenging projects you’ve been brainstorming all the while.
No matter how satisfying and complete you feel after finishing these tasks, you’re never really done. It may be tomorrow or it may be next week, but you’ll eventually have to do them again. That’s life, lots of repetitive tasks. If you’re always waiting for the next thing, you’re missing the only thing that matters. And like these tasks, that piece of advice needs repeating from time to time as well.