Thursday, October 1st, 2009 - 8:46am
We’re all freaking killing ourselves.
A few weeks ago I was feeling particularly rough about what direction life was headed between work, friends, our crazy passion for endurance events as a hobby, family, and everything else that needs to find a place in our lives. I actually felt like things might have been unraveling at the seams.
So I asked a very simple question on Twitter — are we all just burning out?
The responses people posted had one common thread: YES. Either people were feeling that they were burning out, or that they were already there, or were actually engaged in achieving multiple burnout.
Like it is normal. An expectation of our industry.
That is not acceptable.
I’m tired of seeing my friends across the globe at the wrong times. I shouldn’t be awake and neither should they! My friends on the west coast of North America? If you’re still awake and working at 3am when I’m waking up at 6 or 7 am, then something is wrong. Those in the UK and Europe? When I’m doing a bit of extra work at 9pm at night and its 3am for you? Not cool. My Kiwi and Aussie friends? Get. To. Bed.
The work we are doing on the web is critically important. We’re working at building the most important communications network in history. What we do today matters. It matters for today, for tomorrow, forever – and it deserves our very best work. We owe it to each other, to ourselves, to everyone.
Doing our best means not burning out. That should be the accepted norm in our industry.
If you’re burning out (yes, I’m talking to you) something has to give — because if it doesn’t, we won’t be producing our best work. Be conscious in your choice of what gives though — if it is family, personal health and well-being, or our relationships with friends, we’re in a lot of trouble. Those are supposed to be the most important things. It seems that they are the ones that we take for granted or sacrifice first.
Over the past few months I’ve realized that the sacrifices I have made haven’t always been the right ones — partly because I’m conflicted. I’m sure we all feel this pressure in some way: in order to provide for my family I feel more pressure for the business to do more — take on more work, expand what we’re doing, have more income so that I can provide more comfort, more food, more whatever. more. more. more. But at the end of the day, it just feels like less and less and less.
I don’t know what everyone else is feeling right now, but I know where I am. So the question is, what gives? I have no clue. But it can’t be family or me. Those are the wrong things to compromise. I owe family and me, my very best, because what I do with them, matters.