Saturday, August 1, 2009

Having a life outside work

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.

4 comments:

Santu said...

That's absolutely right. In fact whom ever I see today, are well fighting for that identity that they need to have. Be called something or be seen doing something that folks at work call important.

Well said that the work is just one of those parameters that draws up somebody's overall identity. And with everyone just focused in just creating an identity of just work, they obviously leads to a sense of incompleteness. And hence the utter sense of dissatisfaction in their lives and a sense of obtuse oblivion.

A lot of maturity is required to really understand and really get over this and attempt to be truly successful in the whole sense.

Satish Yelugoila said...

I Kamal you thoughts match exactly with mine. By the way I am friend of Kartik. I have been following u on ur blogs for a couple of months now. Feel I know you very well now. Though I have been told a lot about you from Murali,Kartik and Amrik since they have joined you at Effigent but we never got to meet each other. Bye and Take Care - Satish

Jitu said...

Very true and important for everybody. Am finding it difficult to come out of it. I have many successfull people come on time and leave on time.

Kamal Shah said...

@Santu: "Truly successful in the whole sense" - totally agree. Many of us are trying to be successful only in our work - letting other aspects of our life suffer in the process.

@Satish: Thanks Satish for your comment!

@Jiten: We are all finding it difficult. We tend to postpone "coming out of this". We say we will do it once this project is over etc. That never happens as once this project is over, there will be another one. And another one.