Elusive Balance

| 7 Comments

What's life, if not a huge pile of things on the To Do list?

I love to accomplish things and be productive but after sleeping most of yesterday to recover from meeting the deadline on my big PHP-Nuke project, I took a look at today's To Do list and wondered "Why? Why am I doing all this crap that stresses me out? I don't need to work. Tod pays the rent and feeds us."

On a typical day, I am at the computer by 7 am and keep going until I fall alseep at night. I juggle eating, errands and housework in with that, of course, but a 10-12 hour workday is pretty typical. If I'm not doing that, I feel like I'm slacking.

On top of that, the fact that a large amount of my "work" is non-paid projects I've initiated (like Hello Tokyo and the silliness at zousan.com) really blurs the boundaries between work and play so I just call it all work. The Zous are demanding bosses.

My trouble seems to be that I don't see a happy middle ground between working too much and not working at all. Black/white. All/nothing. Either I work so hard I exhaust myself and have to spend a full day sleeping or else I'd better get a membership at the local ladies-who-lunch club.

Help me with some suggestions. What do you do to balance your work and the rest of your life?

7 Comments

Make a career with the thing you love doing more than anything. If you can afford not to worry about bills, then if you like painting, do nothing else!

You ask a hard question - I wish I had a great answer. It's hard to find time to do the things I like to do (music {pro tools has been sitting on my Powerbook alone for a month}, writing, web things) while I juggle a full-time job, commuting, Evan, and trying to find ten minutes to spend with my wife. A schedule may help, like save the fun things (the zous, etc) for a Friday, as a bit of a reward for doing the hard work during the week.

Always enjoy the moment! It doesn't matter work or play.

I think mainly I make myself not feel guilty about taking time to do "in-between", fun stuff. Twice a week, a friend and I will play at open-mic nights, and on the weekend I'll rent or catch a movie. I've got a TON of other stuff to do -- I'm juggling 3 or 4 side projects currently -- but none of them are going to get done well if I don't get some down-time, me-time, whathaveyou.

We really need to get together for a coffee... Balance is something that I would like to talk about too. Bottom line is "what makes you happy". But I think you are more balanced than you realise so be a friend to yourself by congratulating a job well done and bask in the glory for a few minutes before mapping out the next mountain to climb.

Maybe the articles at dexterity.com will give you some ideas. Like this one

http://www.dexterity.com/articles/get-more-done.htm

Sitting at the computer for extended periods of time (like you and I do) is really draining. John's advice is pretty sound I think. So much of what I do is similar - play and work. If I schedule (or spontaneously) do something like swimming during the day, I'm able to face work better. Physical activity always helps my outlook at least.

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