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Simon J McDonnell

Creating cool stuff

Evenin’ Workin’

I don’t do much¬†work at home.

When I do work it tends to come in spurts, when I’ve lain fallow for long enough and I have some free alone time on my hands (a rarity these days). Most of the time though, when I’m not at work I just straight up do nothing at all that could be construed as improving my technical skills. I don’t think this is a bad thing.

If I’m doing worthwhile interesting work during my hours of employment then I don’t really feel the need to do anything at home. I just want to chill out, to do anything other than what I was doing between 9:30 and 6 (modulated forward or back depending on arrival time). This typically turns into me sprawling on the couch to watch some Battlestar Galactica (which is a wonderful, wonderful series by the way), playing some games, or most usually, consuming internet content mindlessly.

Credit to http://www.nataliedee.com/

Credit to http://www.nataliedee.com/

On the one hand, this is a bunch of activity that doesn’t actually produce anything for me either professionally or personally (in terms of personal skill or financial gain). However it does allow my brain to take a much needed rest after the rigours of the workday.¬†This rest is pretty important to me, as after a day of using my brain on a tough problem I am quite frankly mentally exhausted. The analogy I’ve been thinking of recently is clenching my brain around a problem, after doing it all day (with occasional relaxation for lunch and the like) my brain is fatigued and needs time to recover before it can be used again.

This is something that’s been bothering me for a while, and it wasn’t till I started writing this post that I realised that I was kind of okay with it, at least from the imposter syndrome perspective that’s always concerned about my skill level. I need a rest, otherwise I’ll just burn myself out and get less work done in the long run.

From another perspective though, it’s a problem. I want to make things on my own time. Things that are mine alone, and that nourish my creativity. Every day I get home and am too bushwhacked to get anything done, and another day slips away with nothing to show for it except the improvement of my work product and some accrual towards my paycheck. This isn’t good for my psyche.

This post won’t end in a promise or a plan, it’s more of a rambling thought train. I’m feeling the itch though, I think it’ll be soon.

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