Previously I have talked at length about burnout and knowing when you are working too much and how to step aside. Friend Derek Featherstone has also written about burnout and finding some white space in our lives.
Kelly Goto at Web Directions South 2009, last week, also spoke on finding more time between moments (YoYu). Ben Buchanan explains YoYu really well too. Everything these good people and I have said is true.
We all need to slow down, take stock of out lives. Work out what is really most important. What is the core things we value most. Now don’t fog me off, STOP now for a minute! Slow down! If you were given six months to live would what you are doing now be important?…
No I didn’t think so.
It always comes back to family, friends and health. Sometimes we need to remember this. Everything else is really just window dressing.
It’s just no good churning out average work or not giving your best in a zombie like haze of too much caffeine and lack of sleep. We need to do what we do well. As we are building the future, as has been pointed out numerous times – corny I know, but very true.
Now it’s been a busy few years for me personally. I will admit publicly that it has not been easy. Especially balancing family, health, business and community obligations.
The pressure to keep the money flowing for your family isn’t easy, it can be extremely stressful at times. This is something that I know people without dependants will not understand. I can try and explain it, but honestly, unless you have experienced it you will not really understand the true nature of what it is like. Now given that the web industry is mostly made up of people under 35 this makes people like me a minority. Mind you that isn’t the issue at hand is it.
Now I’m a perfectionist, I’ll not be happy unless I can do something well. I don’t work at anything half hearty, it’s 100% or nothing. I apply this to every aspect of my life, it’s the way I am.
However of late I just haven’t been able to give 100% to all the aspect of my life. So something to change, something in my lifestyle had to go.
This means that I too have been running this race towards burnout, like we are all doing. When you do this something has to suffer. In my case it was my health. Recently I have been dealt a number of health setbacks, some of which I have recently overcome. Others I’m still working on. Something has to change and give.
Now I’m a great supporter of the web community, you all know that. I really believe we can bring the web industry in Australia together as one group that can have a remarkable influence. How so you ask. Well it’s simple, we control the communications medium. But I’m digressing. My support for the global web community and it’s goals of best practice is not going to change now or in the longer term. Just want to clarify that.
Sadly this week I have stepped down mid-term from the Australian Web Industry Association (AWIA) Committee.
This decision wasn’t an easy one to make, I have been mulling over it for months. There is a lot angst and guilt in making this decision.
However, I believe I have help shape, if only in a minor way, AWIA over the last three years into the professional organisation it is today, leaving behind a stable platform for the future.
Still at the end of the day, I wasn’t happy not being able to give 100% to the community. So I have stepped aside for someone with more time and resources to take my place on the AWIA committee of highly professional web industry representatives and volunteers.
Don’t worry I’m not becoming a recluse or some such, I’ll be around.
Maybe Derek is right we should all be taking stock of our lives and slowing down a little. Think about it.