“He says this not with sadness or frustration, but with relief. “For me, having quality of life outweighed the need to control this project and make it great all the time.” So he stepped down from running Adventure Time to become simply one of the show’s writers and storyboard artists.”
Every time I hear about someone I admire, or unanimously successful, getting burn out and recognizing the importance of a work/life balance I feel both sad and happy. Sad that it takes them as long as it does to come to this conclusion. Happy that they have, and can now (hopefully) continue making cool things – without the cost of diminishing the other parts of their life.
The best advice I ever received about the time I graduated college was this – don’t work over 40, no one will thank you for putting in a steady 60, no one will promote you for it, and you’ll regret all the things you miss out on outside of work. Don’t do it.
“See, the time I spend with people is what gives my work meaning. I do what I do for them—for the people in my life, the people I know, and the people I don’t. If we never spend time away from our work, how can we understand the world and the people we make things for?”
Rain’s first column on A List Apart is already one of my favorites. A cliché as it is to say this I will. I could quote the whole damn thing.
Remember, everything your employer or client does is to get more out of you. It’s not nefarious, it’s driven into everyone. From the employee feeling like they have to work hard (and they should ) long (and they shouldn’t) hours to the leaders trying to get the most out of their employees. It’s a vicious circle. Only you as an individual can change that.
7. To constantly remember that life is a fragile and precious miracle which requires all our collective effort to protect.
8. To humbly work to improve our own defects and cut everyone else a little more slack.
9. To remember that being a loving and positive person isn’t always easy, but it’s always worth it.
I’m not a fan of Andrew WK, but I am aware of his work. Put This On – of all places – posted this article about his advice column for the Village Voice. The dude seems to know how to live!
“Are you satisfied creatively?
Not even close. That’s a very dangerous place to be and it would truly depress me if that happened and I would get very scared as well. I think if your goal is for everything to be okay, that’s a mistake. To achieve that goal, the only obstacle you’d have to face tomorrow is to eliminate all risk so that everything would be okay. I’ve made the decision that I’m never trying to make everything okay. I’m trying for there to be more loose ends, not fewer loose ends.”
Today I’m making motion graphics in After Effects, tomorrow I’m setting up a new site for a client in WordPress, the day after, who knows!? While it does afford a certain level of discomfort, I’d much rather be pushing myself than complacent with just one domain.
“I would often catch myself pulling out my phone to merely check the time (and then check the time again since I never actually remembered it the first time). This frequent ‘time check’ reenforced the habit of constantly pulling out my phone and undoubtedly led to unnecessary browsing if a waiting notification piqued my interest. Buy a watch. Wear it.”
Speaking of distractions, put your damn phone away.