On one of the episode of positif.dev, Devin and I discussed about what is work-life balance. I described work-life balance as a happiness that hard to achieve, since we need to separate both our work and life, time and environment where we don’t need to think about work after work-hour.
So far I have had a work-life balance in terms of work, but personally I sometimes have problems with my habit of working outside working hours when I’m in the zone. Devin said it is quite difficult not to think about work outside of working hours when the work itself is almost done because there are factors such as the urgency of the job and curiosity. And because of curiosity itself, we forget to take a break, then because we forget to take a break, we can’t finish things that make us curious. Ironic right?
Devin thought that overtime because of our own curiosity is normal and still better than the demands of work because what needs to be improved is our mindset. Many people do not want to work outside working hours but because of the workload, like it or not they have to finish it. The fact that he experienced it before made him think that way. It is considered to be normal as long as you don’t do it everyday.
We separate overtime out of curiosity into 2 things. First, you do the job because you are curious about the solution. Second, you do the job because you want to get your job done regardless of the urgency. The first is considered normal by Devin, the second is quite dangerous because it makes your co-workers have high expectations of you even though you make yourself work beyond your workload. Devin said that when you want to prove that you can do a better job, the habit might be created. This is different when you are on paid leave, but you are required to do work such as fixing bugs. While it’s common in software engineering jobs, it makes your work-life balance even worse.
Then Devin asked me about how I could improve my work-life balance. I’m trying to improve my work-life balance when I commit not to work after work by setting a schedule, because I have goals that I need to achieve. Devin himself improves work-life balance by separating work laptops and personal laptops to avoid work-related things like, your work projects, Slack chats, etc. And also it’s important that your colleague knows that you need to maintain your work-life balance.
The last discussion is about what we do in our spare time. While I follow my schedule that I have set up to refresh and improve my personal skills such as learning English, Japanese, side project development and watching Netflix, Devin uses his free time to read books, do side projects, and watch Udemy courses and Netflix.