Join Jeffrey Zeldman for an in-depth discussion in this video Life balance, part of Jeffrey Zeldman: 20 years of Web Design and Community.
- (soft undulating music) - When I started Happy Cog, I worked around the clock. I worked all the time. And, I did a lot of unhealthy things, constantly drinking caffeine, smoking cigarettes, all this kind of stuff. And, strangely enough, I'm not getting younger. And I have a nine year old who I adore. And I want to be around as long as I can, to help her, to be here for her.
I think I have anxiety, more than most people. In part, it helped me. In the past, fears and neuroses drove me to achieve certain things. I used to open email first thing in the day and be reactive. "Oh, take of this, take care of this, "take care of this, take care...!" I wasn't actually thinking, or doing the right job for any... I wasn't treating my employees right, or my clients right, or anything. I was just worrying. There's a certain amount of time every day that I just do creative work, that has nothing to do with clients, or the conference or the magazine or anything.
Right now, it's photography. A year from now, it could be music again. Whatever it is, it's just something where I'm doing something. I'm exercising that part of my brain, without a deadline, without a goal. It's funny, but I still get just as much done, as I did when I was working around the clock. Similarly with my daughter. When I pick up my daughter, I'm not going to check email. It drives (chuckles) some of my employees crazy. They've learned that they have to text me.
If there's something really important that I must respond to, they've learned to text me. Because, if I'm hanging out with my daughter, and we're eating or reading or playing Minecraft, or watching TV or something, I'm not going to be surreptitiously checking my iPhone. I'm just not. Exercise, walking, hanging with my kid, doing some creative side project, all that stuff is really important. Gives me some balance. Otherwise, I couldn't do all these other things. On the other hand, I don't have a normal schedule.
Like some people go, "Oh, it's the weekend, I'm done". If it's a weekend that I'm not with my daughter, I may be working. I don't care. It's all fun to me. It's all joy. I'm not working for someone I hate, on something I don't believe in. I'm working for people I love, on things I love, so...