I’m a proud husband and father, two roles I gladly devote a lot of my time to. I’m a homeowner and self-proclaimed mechanic as well—another way of saying I’m always fixing something. My family and I live in a beautiful New Hampshire vacation town surrounded by mountains and lakes but not much else. Simple errands, like doing groceries, require fairly long road trips. I also have many interests outside of work, including carpentry, photography, and enjoying the outdoors. All of these responsibilities take considerable time and commitment.
The work/life balance requires constant fine-tuning and part of that involves choosing realistic role models. It’s easy to be impressed by others in your industry who crank out work at an unreal pace (front-page Dribbblers, I’m looking at you). It can also be tempting to imagine how much more you could get done by working around the clock, but at what expense? Would you be neglecting other interests and people in your life? I respect anyone not afraid of hard work; the trouble is when determination turns into obsession.
If you do find yourself following someone else’s footsteps, take a moment to learn more about that person (and I’m not talking about just their work). Compare their lifestyle to yours and ask, “Are they a well-rounded individual? Do they share a similar amount of responsibilities as you do?” If the answer is no, then perhaps they’re not a good role model for you. Be inspired, always do your best possible work, but keep your priorities in mind.