Not much posting lately, sorry! I’ve been working hard and then worrying a lot when I’m not working hard. E3 is coming up, and I’m worried about budgets, and things that follow from that.
I’ve always thought that I should really love what I do for work. That if I don’t, I should go find something else to do. And, having found something I love, I should work at it as hard as I can. Otherwise, what’s the point in doing it?
But now I’m getting older, and I’m finding that I’ve worked hard and I’m sitting here wondering if I should work a little less hard and get a life. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve had a lot of conversations lately with people who are much better at the work/life balance than I am. Granted, being devoted to work can get you a long way, but it can get a bit tiring. And you can burn out, or just find yourself getting frustrated about very little things, since you’re riding on the ragged edge all the time.
So my question of the evening is, what do YOU do to prevent yourself from burning out?
EDIT: I suppose this is sort of a stupid question, it’s one of those things that has an intuitive answer. Work less! Play more! Go on vacation! ๐Ÿ™‚ But what do you do when you can’t?






9 responses to “Thinking”

  1. Chris Avatar

    For me, the best way to find a way out of the grind towards balance is to just sit for a while. Take stock in what you have achieved, the support you have from your friends and family and just take plain ‘ol time out! Not burning out is tricky, especially when you seem to be running faster than your company is. The trick for me has been to just unplug for a few days at a time and just spend time with family and my hobbies. The good thing for you Mark is that you have plenty of friends that you can lean on and can help you find that balance.
    We already discussed that you need to get your ass to Virginia. Good food, wine and games await you here buddy ๐Ÿ™‚
    (Oh. All that and we need to get you a date.)

  2. Dave Avatar

    i like to remeber that work is just that…work. Nobody (except a playboy photographer) really gets up every day super excited to be at work. Everytime I find someone who says that I ask them if they had ten million dollars if they would still do their jobs or if they would travel the world. Everyone always says they would travel and then come back and work, but do it a lot less. So just remember that no one has that “perfect” job, it’s a goal you can’t achieve. Instead be happy that you like what you do sometimes and try to manage the stress level by leaving it at work.

  3. Bret Mogilefsky Avatar
    Bret Mogilefsky

    Hire and delgate so you don’t feel pressure to work all the time. Think about the process, not the goal, so you can quit in the middle of something and come back to it later. This post will help:
    Not that I’ve managed to do any of that myself…

  4. Kim Pallister Avatar

    Amen to the hire and delegate. Whether or not you can, prioritize, draw a line at what you can do, and apply 80/20 rule. (even if you hire, there’s always more than can be done and you’ll just keep killing yourself and your team).
    On the “keep it fresh” front – make sure you take on new things, and that they are things you are afraid of doing. Challenging yourself, while more work, is energizing. Doing the same busy work again and again gets old and wears on you.
    Also, sure, take personal time – but what’s more, you have teh ideal job for it. Take 2 days next time you are in Japan and go be a tourist. Maybe hit the beach after E3 for a day. I remember working 21 INSANE days in a row preparing for Cebit a number of years back (while at Matrox). I was sure I was going to quit right after I got back. A coworker and I took 4 days afterward and went snowboarding in Zermatt Switzerland. On day two I was booking down this glacier there screaming “I have the best job ever!!!”. What good is all the time on the road if you don’t take advantage?
    Longer discussion than that over drinks at E3!

  5. markdeloura Avatar

    Hi guys, thank you for the advice. It’s funny, what I’m not good at is really the implementation. i know what I should do, but the doing of it is what I find challenging. Taking breaks, taking vacations, and keeping things fresh are so important and yet I ignore them so I can bang through another fifty email messages. Not a particularly sound strategy long-term. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. lee Avatar

    Hmm… well I usually end up eating dinner with you and drinking a really expensive bottle of wine that we can only afford because you are working one of those high paying corporate jobs ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. John Byrd Avatar

    Make sure the job you have is really the one you want, and not merely the next convenient one on the corporate food chain. You could die at any instant. Do not let the world define you and do not define yourself. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. The highest walls are the ones you erect in your own mind. In a world of fickleness and greed, there is still love and friendship and deeper things, and that is good.
    That’s about it.

  8. Chris Avatar

    A comment about work just being work…..I don’t buy that for a second. Sure there are some jobs that are just jobs, hard to get psyched to dig ditches, but everyone of us anwering here do the jobs we do because we want to be part of this industry. It is more than just a job, even the shit days. If you wake up and just think of your work as just another job, its time to find something else to do.
    With regard to making more money and not work, impossible for me. If I had that kind of money, it would mean that I could do more! Like start a movie effects company….oooohhhhhh yeahhhhh baby.
    Mark, you hit it on the head, the answer is obvious. Work less, delegate more. Just because the answer is obvious, doesn’t make it easy. How do you get to the top of Everest? Why, you climb it of course ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Bret Mogilefsky Avatar
    Bret Mogilefsky

    Check out this David Allen interview for a reflection, if not a solution, of the kinds of problems you’re talking about: