There is a great quote from Dr. Suess’ The King’s Stilts:
And when they played they really PLAYED. And when they worked they really WORKED.
This quote resonated with me because I am focusing more and more on work-life balance. See, I was a workaholic. Everything revolved around work for me. It was my identity. I would take on every question, project, request, you name it, I was doing it. I would spend 8 hrs at work only to go home and spend 4-6 more hours buried in my e-mail, excel, code editors, and creative files. I was grinding hard. And don’t get me wrong, those hours spent were not wasted hours. They helped advance me to the position I am in now. But there was a problem with all of this. I was beginning to burn out and become frustrated with all the requests / expectations that were being put on me (expectations driven by the self-inflicted precedents I had set). I needed to shake things up. I needed to prioritize my tasks. I needed to shift my focus on what was important. And most importantly, I needed to learn how respectfully say ‘NO.’
So, what does any of this have to do with the quote above? Well, by saying ‘no’ to certain things, it opened up time to work on the projects that needed 100% of my attention. It freed my evenings from work. It gave me back the balance I needed in my life. When I am at work, I work. I am all in. When I am at home. I am at home. I am no longer thinking about / doing work. If work happens to come across my mind, I simply note the thought and address it in the morning: when I am at work.