Work Life Balance

The modern work life balance equation is interesting to me in that people seem to have all of these rules for when they should or shouldn’t be working. I have some friends at tech companies who work something like: “long enough to get all three meals in the office, weekends when it’s urgent, at least eight hours a weekday, never after 9pm”. der…? what?

To be contrarian, I prefer to distill my work balance into a few rules that are easy enough for my brain to wrap around. This is what I do:

  1. If I’m awake, I should be working.
  2. If I can’t focus enough to do my work well, I should take a break.
  3. If I’m too tired to work after taking a break, I should be sleeping.

I once asked one of my most diligent friends in college how he was able to take all of the hardest CS classes, work a part-time job, and do academic research in his spare time.

me: “How do you manage your work/life balance?”

friend: “Well, that’s an easy one. Let’s postulate that I have no life. Then really, there’s nothing to balance, is there?”


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