Powering Through… Is it worth it?

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In my career, I’ve often had to fight through long stretches of work, with minimal sleep.  I’m in the midst of another of those stretches, and I’m realizing a few things.  The question I keep asking is “is it worth it?”.  A simple question, with a very complicated answer.

Now I’m used to working long hours because I have my “day job” and also my business.  Due to the nature of the game, my business has to take a back seat to the “day job”.  So I’m used to working late nights to keep my business moving toward my goal of doing my business full time.  So, I would’ve thought that doing the “night shift” during testing wouldn’t be bad.  Initially, it was ok, I get to watch all the hockey games, even the ones that don’t end until after midnight.  =)  but after a few nights, I started to notice how exhausted I was ever day.  Much of the problem is my controlling nature.  I’m responsible for a big chunk of the work, so I don’t want anyone else touching my models.  Now, this is a stupid mentality to have.  I’m a contractor, so these models won’t be mine forever.  Yet, I still don’t want to give them up.  I don’t even know why…  but I’ll save that conversation for another day.  But this is driving me to work the late shift from 10-2am, get up at 7am, get Alex rolling and off to school, then I log in for most of the rest of the day.  I take an hour off here and there, or maybe even take a brief nap, but in general, I’m “On” for the full day, and then again from about 9pm – 2am, Sunday – Thursday.

this is nearing the end of week 3.  Happily, the final week.  Here’s what I figured out…

1. I’m not as young as I used to be, so functioning indefinitely with little to no sleep, just doesn’t work.  Read my post on the “Sabbath” if you want to understand why 🙂

2. I have 2 small kids.  That means when I’m not working, I’m with them.  either playing, feeding, or putting them to bed.  That takes a lot more energy than I ever realized.

3.  Being “on” at the day job is a lot more taxing mentally than moving onto my own business stuff.  First off, I love doing my stuff for Javellin, so I don’t think of it as work.  Doing the “day job” means I need focused on work for far longer than I like.

4.  As the weeks have gone on, I’ve noticed that I’m getting sloppy, not focusing as well, and making a lot more simple mistakes that I generally wouldn’t make.  Simply, I’m tired, mentally and physically, so I’m not at my best.

All these combine to one simple fact…  I can’t do the 12 hour days for 3 straight weeks.  1 or 2 weeks, maybe for a go-live, but for testing, it’s not worth it.

The morale of this story…  don’t kill yourself because you’re too stubborn to let other help you.  It is not in anyone’s best interest.

Thanks for reading,

As always, thanks for reading and don't forget to check out our SAP Service Management Products at my other company JaveLLin Solutions,

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