Take the time to live

Creative Commons: http://j.mp/YQiHHk

I am busy. You are busy. We are busy. Everybody is busy. Maybe too much?

It’s Mathieu Chartier, at the last HTML5mtl meetup, who made me aware of this: everybody is always busy, and it’s like a contest of who has been the busiest! We can say that this is the world we are living in today, but I don’t find it’s something normal. It’s also not normal that being busy is part of our answer when someone asks us how are we doing…

“How are you?”

“I’m busy. I didn’t have a day off for the last four weeks” or “Not so bad, but very busy. I didn’t see my girlfriend for the last two weeks”.

This ascertainment from Mathieu worried me a lot, because I’m this kind of person. The kind of person who is busy, too busy. The kind of person who do too much stuff so at the end, there are some direct repercussion of his life like:

  • No time to relax;
  • Neglecting friends or family;
  • No time for other hobbies;
  • Just no time to take a moment to enjoy the life.

No worries here, I’m not doing a depression, but I just think we need to take more time for us, to relax, to enjoy the life. Be careful, as I’m not just talking about work. There are many ways to make our life busy: of course too much work, but there are also volunteers, personal projects, others projects… On top of that, when we are too busy, we are starting to deliver poor results on what keeps us busy.

I’m 30, and since I’m 17, I did a lot of things in addition of my job: volunteer in scouting for 11 years with multiple roles at the same time, video podcast, audio podcast, started a usergroup, volunteer in a association, created a Geek festival, and more! Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, but I’m feeling that I need to slow down, get more time for me, for my family, my friends, to relax, and do some little project (I cannot live without any projects – It’s my entrepreneurial side, taking an idea, and making it a reality is my drug), that doesn’t involve timelines and/or others (in other words, no obligations). Of course, dedicating myself to the job I like by having a good work, and life balance is part of this. Do you think we are too busy? Are you too busy? Do we need more time to relax, and enjoy the life? Share your thoughts!

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  1. Your comments and post have not fallen on deaf ears to me. And while I understand where you are coming from since I am busier than I have ever been in my life, I’m loving every minute of it. Perhaps that will change, maybe in *counting on fingers* 5 months when I turn 30 I will think the same thing, but right now I’m loving this working every day for the last 3 years. It makes those breaks that much sweeter. Weekends? What are those? Are they those 2 days that nobody bugs you and you get a tonne of work done? Holidays? You mean those days where the world shuts down and productivity goes up?

    All that being said, I can honestly say I do know where you are coming from. In some ways, I am a bit jealous of the fact that you have other priorities in your life than technology and communities. Perhaps one day, when I have that, we can sit back over cocoa and reminisce about how we changed the world and made it a better place.

    12/06/2012 11:43AM
    • Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy what I’m doing. I just feel that I should take more time to do some stuff that will give me more time to relax, have more time with my fiancé, and my friends. Sometimes, I would like to be able to do nothing productive, and not feeling guilty as I should be doing something else, or that I have “more important” things to do.

      12/06/2012 02:23PM
  2. I enjoy being busy because otherwise I will be bored. But my definition of busy extends to more than just work. I can be busy thinking about stuff, busy on a ski trip, busy watching a movie or busy eating in a restaurant.

    I try to consider absolutely everything as an equally important activity, and so it forces me to allow time for it. As soon as you start considering your hobbies and personal activities separately, they can easily lose their priority. Don’t cancel personal plans because some work came up. Do you see me coding or commenting on a blog post? Exactly. I’m not slacking. I’m taking 30 minutes to engage in social interactions, because it’s as important as the code.

    Example: I can’t sign a contract with a client on this day because I already planned to watch a movie in the theatre. Let’s schedule the contract-signing on the next day.

    You don’t owe anyone anything. Nobody can force you to do something. If somebody tries to, tell them to f*ck off. And yes, you can fire clients that think they are more important than The Hobbit movie. Don’t be submissive. Don’t feel guilty. Guilt coerces you into doing something you don’t want to do. You do not exist for the sole purpose of being useful to somebody.

    Now go ahead and do one thing you enjoy over one thing that others expect you to do! Just this once, if only for an hour.

    12/06/2012 02:04PM
    • Don’t get me wrong, I’m enjoying doing these things, but I feel exhausted, and tired of always having to do something (something for me is volunteer, work…). I don’t have enough time for more personal things. Like you said, I feel guilty when I’m watching a movie when I should take that time to plan the next meetup of my usergroup. From now on, I’ll take more time for personal stuff like this, and of course, there is no way I cannot start new projects, but those will be only for me, with no pressure, no deadline, and nobody else that will need stuff from me.

      12/06/2012 02:28PM


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