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This reminds me of this great article by Clayton Christensen to Harvard Business students about life balance: http://hbr.org/2010/07/how-will-you-measure-your-life/ar/1

Looking back over a short 7 year or so career I can't remember many projects where I can go: "Oh man, I'm so glad I spent all that time late at night on that project. It's really made a lasting difference in the world."

I'm sure there are some things that are worth spending a lot of overtime on; I'm sure there are ways to write software that will literally make a massive change in the way the world works. But most of the stuff that I see coming out of startups, most of the stuff that I've worked on in a wide variety of companies is stuff that ends up being rewritten soon, or changed or what have you.

One of my favorite CS professors was diagnosed with terminal cancer relatively early in life (late 50s, early 60s). He had another 10 or 15 years of teaching in him probably if he hadn't gotten sick. Towards the end of his fight with cancer, one of the other professors visited him and came back to us and said that he had been visiting the dying professor on a way to his daughter's flute recital. The dying professor looked at him when he mentioned the recital and said something like: "Good! More flute recitals! More ball games! Fewer papers! fewer conferences!"

I know that the time I spend away from work, particularly on my family -- my relationship with my spouse, with my kids -- ends up being the time that matters most in the long term.




Time is so fleeting, and so precious. It's criminal to stuck in cube for a large portion of that lifetime.

Every so often, stop, just stop and think about what's important. Best to do it now, rather than regret later.


If i could upvote this comment 100 times, i would. I've seen that comment before, but had forgotten about it. It sums things up much more eloquently than I can.


As my father used to put it "No-one ever died thinking 'I wish I'd spent more time at the office'".


Just remember to ask yourself when you're out of hours in the day and still have work to do and family to be with: "What matters most?" http://youtu.be/l70e1TfN34w




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