On work and life balance

Me and Sarah

Its funny I was reading through Furrygoat the other day, I found this very interesting entry but now I can't actually find it on the live site. I can only assume, it was removed. But its honestly too good to not blog. If I'm asked to remove it, then fair enough but till then…He's the entry titled Work life Balance.

Or lack thereof. And the worst part is that I've come to the realization that I have absolutely no one to blame besides myself.
It sucks – almost every day I go in to the office at 6am and work until 5, then I'm back on email at 8:30 until I go to bed. I check email all weekend long (which, when driving really pisses the wife off) due to the 'convience' of a smartphone. And to top it off, due to my obessive nature, I've realized that in many ways my work defines me. I am no longer the adventurer who went to Everest or the diver that went to Belize to scuba in the barrier reefs, I'm just a software engineer.
Sure, we've been in a super hard push the last few weeks (which is always tiring), but I've been wondering what's it for? In the end, we basically put pixels on a screen. You write code today and in a few years it's gone (unless it's 'Notepad' – that code seems to stick around forever).
After this push, I think I'm going to go back to having 'regular' hours of 8-4. Perhaps I'll start hitting the gym again in the mornings and enforce a 'hard stop' at 4. No more email at night. Liz, Tyler and our new son deserve that. *I* deserve that.

Being married myself and look forward to a kid at some point within the next 5 years, I think about the balance of professional and personal life (i hate to seperate them like that, but it will work for now). Me and Sarah were watching a Panorama documentary about the right time for a baby. I'll say little more, but its all about women choosing to work longer and not have babies till very late, sometimes too late. Its all stuff we've heard before, the middle classes waiting long and having less babies, while the lower class are have lots of babies. Nothing new here but interesting anyway.

But back to now, that work life balance is hard to get right. I'm always readjusting depending on events and how happy Sarah is. Its important and I don't have a rule or any wisdom to give in this area except to say its damm important. Those who get it wrong really risk screwing up more that they can ever imagine.

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.