I am pretty religious about keeping sharp with my coding skills and keeping up to date with the software industry as a whole. I spend a lot of time keeping up to date with the latest tech and programming techniques in an effort to become a more productive developer. This week, however, I got a harsh lesson in reality — no matter what tricks I learn or techniques I employ, I can still be derailed by the smallest of things: a germ.
That’s right I got knocked out for the majority of last week by a microscopic germ. To be fair, I didn’t do myself any favors — I continued to work even with a fever for the first day or so and continued to take meetings and calls. Eventually, by day three, I was more or less out cold. Sure, I could have just taken that first day or so off and recovered faster, but I felt compelled to continue — compelled to keep working even though I knew it was against my interest and that I wasn’t working anywhere near my maximum efficiency.
Why, dear reader, am I writing this? Seems obvious, right? Well, I think we all know that on some level, but many of you I’m sure have repeated my story here. More and more I find that I, like many of you I suspect, are living to work rather than working to live. That needs to change — we need to remember that even if we work for ourselves we need to treat ourselves as a reasonable manager would and not push ourselves to the breaking point. Work to live, not the other way around.