Work occupies a majority of our waking hours. Most people are defined by their work. Our work provides us with our identity. It is important, however, to realize that work is not life. It is a part of our life. Yes, an important part. But only a part.
I believe there is a lot to life apart from work. I like to pursue other interests in my life apart from work. I try not to miss my swim every morning. I try not to miss my Sunday morning idli breakfasts. I try to catch up with friends every once in a while. These are simple pleasures that make life more complete.
Its not like I don't enjoy my work. The truth be told: I am enjoying my work like I never did in the past few years. iPhone application development is a happy pursuit. But I make sure I enjoy the other things in life too.
Becoming obsessed with work is common. Forced or volunteered. This happens a lot in the software industry. It is all right to put in long hours and work on weekends for a short period of time when there are tight deadlines or an upcoming delivery. To make this a regular affair over months is disastrous. I would never want to get into this irrespective of the financial dividends.
I do not believe that we need to work more than 8 hours a day on an average. Dhirubhai Ambani had once said, "People who say they work more than 8 hours a day are either not smart enough or are lying!" My mind becomes saturated after 8 hours. I cannot think creatively. My body too is fatigued. Especially in a job like mine, it is important for my mind to be well-rested and fresh to be able to put in my best. This is impossible by working long hours and over weekends.
Are the number of hours more important or the quality of work done? I am glad my manager realizes that it is the latter.