In last accounting class I learned about inventory. The lecturer introduced the topic with a joke about how accountants always handle their things based on FIFO (first in, first out), even when it comes to storing stuffs in the fridge - the first item that goes in is the first to go out. She then asked the class: Is it out of work habits or simply OCD?
My thoughts: It's modern day work hazard. Out of 24 hours a day, we spend easily 12 hours on work. Not at work, but ON work. 1 hour to get ready for work in the morning. 1 hour to get to work. 4 hours working, 1 hour lunch, then back to work for another 4 hours, sometimes more. 1 hour to get home. Add them all up like a good accountant, the entire 12 hours are mainly (if not entirely) consumed by thoughts about work.
What about the remaining 12 hours? 6 hours gone to sleeping, only 6 hours left being awake. Half of them spent on dinner plus chit chat over food. Another half on various things like watching tv or surfing the net or doing house chores.
With such a big chunk of one's waking hours spent thinking about work, doesn't it make logical sense that the thought sometimes overspill into non-work hours without us realizing it?
Let's quote some examples. Accountants are used to following standards, playing by the rules, keeping good records for audit trail; hence we are great at keeping things well organized at home. Engineers like things to be practical and functional; what matters to them is not whether the big new tv rack matches the rest of the living room furniture’s but whether it has enough holes for all sorts of cables to pass through. Doctors will relate everything to health. Teachers to school. Soldiers to safety.
The modern day lifestyle makes distinction between work life and personal life even more blurry. It's not that easy to switch modes, we are not machines. In fact applying some good things at work to your daily life can actually do you some good i.e. organizing your food stock, calculating your budget vs. actual spending variance, monitoring monthly cash inflow/outflow. Just don't overdo it, you may end up like this…
Employee of the month, no doubt!