Working On The Weekend

It’s 10:30pm on a Saturday, and I’m at work. I’m the only one in the office. I’ll be sleeping here tonight, and working on Sunday.

It’s funny. Throughout my life, I’ve always had a reputation for being lazy. At this job, I work nights and weekends more often than not. What changed? I don’t know.  Maybe it’s because this is the first job I’ve had where I wasn’t bored.  But, as with any change, being not-lazy has come with its share of problems.

I have too much to do! First, there are heaps of things that I want to get done at IMVU that are part of scheduled work or side projects that are still part of IMVU.  Second, I have a lot of ideas and proposals for personal projects outside work. As a sad and distant third, I have a stack of video games and books I want to get around to reading.  And I have vague ambitions towards going out and having a life.

Is this good? Am I better off with too much to do? It seems that way. But at this rate, personal projects and video games are getting delayed indefinitely.  I don’t know how to budget my free time.  Here are the pros and cons of the contenders:

Do more regular work

Pros:

  • Makes me look like a hard worker
  • Makes me reliable
  • That stuff needs to get done
  • Proves my parents wrong (they think I’m lazy)

Cons:

  • Removes variety from my life
  • Increases risk of burning out

Do side projects for IMVU

Pros:

  • These are things that will never get done if I don’t do them
  • Finishing something that was entirely my idea and helped the business out is fantastic for the career
  • Also good for the career just to have a reputation for caring about the company

Cons:

  • Same as doing normal work outside work, only less severe

Work on personal projects

Pros:

  • Make some extra money
  • Have something to put on my resume
  • Have something to blog about and show off at devhouse etc
  • Earn some nerd cred / help with networking
  • Learn new technologies
  • Programming on a personal project is cathartic

Cons:

  • Not garaunteed to do any of the above
  • Scope of projects severly limited by time constraints

Not programming

Pros:

  • Maybe it will eventually lead to having a girlfriend
  • Fights burnout
  • Can be good for networking
  • Keep current on the games industry
  • FUN!

Cons:

  • Costs money
  • Doing too much of this can cost me my reputation for being a hard worker

It seems to me like I need to find a strategy for deciding which one to do.  As is, I just wing it, which is making me burn myself out, not improve my skills with new technologies, and not network or get a girlfriend.  And my parents aren’t even around for me to say I-told-you-so.

What do you think, blood pact?  How do you guys manage your free time?

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2 Responses to Working On The Weekend

  1. Ben says:

    Except for days where you work from home for some reason, never* do any work outside of your work place. This adds a spinup cost to working — getting to work — which keeps your personal/professional life more separate.

    * never means “unless there’s a really bad bug in production” or something.

  2. There is another con with personal projects: sometimes they grow up.

    If you are really serious about them you have to support them. Which means you might end up with more stress because you have to deal with spammers, crashes, …

    ———

    I’m still trying to figure out your question myself. I agree with keeping work separate as much as possible.

    I try to find times that I can spend 30 minutes working on a side project each day (such as the bus ride to work). Then try to get the important stuff done at work so you don’t feel like you have to stay late.

    I worked my ass off at flock, and what I learned is that you cannot spend all your time on a company. By sacrificing personal goals to do “hard work” for the company you feel worse when that hard work isn’t appreciated or things change that make it all for naught.

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