5 Comments // Filed in Business / Etc
Let me get this out of the way: I don’t believe in “work-life balance.” There are only work-life priorities. Sometimes work takes precedent, to our detriment or not, and other times, life takes the lead. However, we still try our damnest to get it all to gel. There are two trains of through in order to do this: separate work and life completely or integrate work into your life even more.
The former has been popularized by The 4-Hour Workweek where Tim Ferris encourages separation of purely financially-driven activity from pleasure-driven activity while the latter has been written through several blog posts, two of which were on 24ways: A Pet Project is For Life, Not Just for Christmas and Make Out Like a Bandit.
Now, I love design (of all types) and I love making money through design so I don’t necessarily want to completely separate my “financially driven” activity from what I consider fun. Work shouldn’t be a drudge! But, to me, creating personal projects that are almost directly tied to skills in your day job, can help burn you out instead of re-inspire you. I mean, one can only take so much staring at Photoshop even if one is a paid client project, and the other is a passion project. You’re still in Photoshop (or your software of choice). You’re still designing. You’re still… well, you’re still working. You’ve just switched clients from someone else to yourself, and as we all know, we’re all our own worst clients.
So what to do? I don’t want to separate work and pleasure completely, nor do I want to completely integrate my hobbies to my work. Here’s the deal: design is my passion but it sure as hell isn’t my entire life. (no offense to those who have Design is Life mandates)
My proposal? Limit the amount of hobbies you integrate into your work that may or may not make money (perhaps maximum 1 or 2) and the rest, keep it offline. Don’t even think about monetizing the rest. It will guarantee that it’s strictly in the hobby mindset because you’re not necessarily out to make money off of it. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that sometimes people on the web live in this strange vacuum where only the internet, design, and code exist and of course, trying to profit from it. Sometimes, it could be nicer for certain things to remain analog, offline, and private.
I think that might be a good compromise.