Hitchhiker's Guide to Software Architecture and Everything Else - by Michael Stal

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Work Life Balance - Revisited

Right after each of my postings related to Work Life Balance, my inbox grew due to people asking me about how I personally keep the balance. That's the reason why I want to spend some sentences on this personal issue although it is not related to Software Architecture (al least at the first sight).

I still consider myself a workaholic on rails. Only a few years ago I used to work the whole week without too many exceptions. After some health problems, I remembered the time when I had been totally enthusiastic about sports. And then I started to go biking and running regularly. That's where the rails come in. Ok, I did too much running and got problems with my knee which is the reason why I am more biased to biking these days. Typically, I will run or bike almost every day from spring to autumn. For example, I enjoy to bike to work (10 km). On my way back to home I will often use a detour leading through a large forest and along a bike lane near the Isar river here in Munich (30-50 km).  Sometimes, I leave office late afternoon and continue my work at home. If possible, I am also running which is an incredibly excellent way to relax, especially in winter when biking is not that cool (or should I better  say when it is too cool). After 10-12 km which may take more than 60 minutes depending on my training intensity all problems are gone and my mind is open for new ideas.

My other hobbies include composing music, reading books, listening to podcasts, audiobooks or music on my IPod, among many other interests. Yes, I definitely got more interests than time.

My experience has taught me that sports (no matter what) is the most important way to keep your balance. So is meeting people who have no interest in any IT topics. Same for all hobbies that help forgetting about any work related challenges (formerly known as problems). I have never been as creative as when keeping my work/life in balance. The more time I spend for sports and other interests, the more productive I will be. This is kind of surprising as I always believed in the opposite statement (the more time spent, the more productivity).

Just relax! 


  • Couldn't agree more. My "balancing tool" is flying: it is quite a bit different than working your brain only (as in IT) and it is just simply incredibly cool!

    Also, you meet many non-IT-people on the airfield, so it is a completely different environment.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:48 AM  

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