Work hard, but be smart about it.

In my 30s I did almost nothing but work. I loved it. For a long time I didn’t have a laptop or a computer at home so I carried my desktop home *every night*. Fusionary was new and wonderful and nothing else mattered. Okay, Fusionary is still new and wonderful, but you know what I mean.

During that whole period I was also a single parent. New parents are quick to realize that raising kids is more than just a full-time job – it’s a 24/7 commitment. And that’s with both parents contributing. I spent a number of years under the misconception that you can postpone the hardcore parenting part while you Prepare For Your Child’s Future(tm) or Take Care of Business(tm).

That is a fallacy, don’t fall for it.

My daughter is nearing 19 years old and she’s wonderful, but hindsight helps reveal where I made mistakes. Most of them were errors of omission. They were always about me choosing the wrong thing at the wrong time. This doesn’t mean you can’t have both. It means you have to carefully balance things. When you’re “very busy” and “don’t have time” it’s difficult to make good decisions. Trust me. I still love what I do, but I hope I’m learning some perspective as well.

So what to do? Hell, I don’t know. I do have a few random thoughts of course, so here’s some advice. Some of which even I try to follow.

  • Your career is not more important than your family. Not ever.

  • Working more hours does not mean you’re more productive. You just haven’t figured this out yet.

  • When you’re “off” work, be OFF WORK. Don’t be planning tomorrow’s meeting or wishing you were reading RSS feeds. That’s for when you’re back at work.

  • When you’re working, get shit done! The usual: Work smart, not hard, Important before Urgent, 30,000 feet, all that crap. You know the right things, so do them.

  • If you say that you don’t have time, you’re already not doing it right.

Do with this what you will, but whatever you do, figure out what’s important now because you can’t do it later.

Jessica just got here. I’m going to and go talk with her for a while.