People often ask about how I manage to keep a day job, do the podcast, write books, and otherwise cause mischief all at once. The answer is, very carefully. I use all these technologies I write about not just to fiddle, but also to keep the car racing forward. It also helps that I really enjoy all these things. Additionally, there are many things I don’t do in order to make time.
However, lately I’ve been giving some thought to down time. Merlin Mann talks about this intermittently on Back to Work. The idea is that if you’re racing forward at all times and don’t stop to just relax a bit, you are going to miss some really great opportunities. I’m not sure where I stand on this. I’d argue that I do have lots of down time, which I spend with my family. My kids are no longer toddlers and spending time for them is just fun without nearly so much worry about how they may step off a balcony or contrive to find some other way to get into trouble. Nevertheless, there really isn’t much me time. There isn’t zero me time either, just not much.
So last week I got sick. I wasn’t very sick. I just had a cold. But for a few days, I couldn’t screencast, I couldn’t dictate, and I just felt pretty crappy. Again, that’s okay. Everybody gets sick. The trouble is that my race car is hurtling down the track at very high speed and just a few days of reduced productivity caused several projects to get seriously out of whack. When you are going this fast, just a little bit of wobble in the wheels can result in a smoking fireball against the nearest brick wall. I’m better now and the race car is running nearly full speed again and this most recent brick wall was avoided but this has me wondering if perhaps Merlin isn’t right.