This subject has very much been on my mind lately as we gear up for our launch at Circa. I’d love to dive in further on the topic sometime, but right now I’d just like to just kick off a few thoughts on work/life balance.
I recently read something that said that the “best” folks in the industry are the ones without a work/life balance. They just pour everything they have into their work and that’s why they succeed. Folks that like to give this argument hand out names like Steve Jobs, Jack Dorsey, and Mark Zuckerberg. These people give all they have to their work and succeed greatly as a result.
What they don’t mention is the 99.99% of the other people out there doing the same thing that fail miserably and then have no idea how to cope with it after all is said and done.
Work to live, don’t live to work
With Circa we have tried our best to keep weekends sacred. They’re a time to refresh; to recharge. My own personal preference is to stop responding to email each Saturday morning and not resume until Monday morning and I do my best to stick to it. We’ve lapsed here and there as we get closer to our launch, but we’ll be back to the “normal” mode soon enough. If you’re constantly responding to email the moment you get it you’re signaling to the recipient that you don’t value your time very much.
I went to an event recently that was hosted at 7:30p and had some great folks I wanted to catch up there. Someone was very surprised that with my launch only five weeks away that I could somehow peel myself away to attend a dinner. This is the kind of mentality that so many people fall into here in San Francisco and Silicon Valley and it bums me out so much. I’m sure it works for some people, but I highly doubt that it truly works for most.
It’s all a recipe for burning out in a big way.
Take your time and don’t kill yourself
“Busy” doesn’t always mean productive. Take evenings off, take weekends, holidays off – it’s vital recharge time. The work will still be there when you get back but if all you do is your work, you might not have a life to go back to if it doesn’t work out.