wolfgang ziegler

„make stuff and blog about it“

It’s OK to Take a Break

July 8, 2014

I took a break from blogging for a whole month and first I felt really bad about that. But actually that’s OK and here’s why.

Many of us have to juggle a lot of things on our plate.

As developers, we usually have our day jobs that require a huge amount of dedication, energy and – quite often – extra hours of work. But that’s fine, because we usually really like what we do and that’s what keeps us going.

But then, many of us also have their side projects. We are doing app development for our favorite mobile platforms, work on open source projects or simply play around with new technologies to stay up to date and relevant.

Beyond that, some of us also become involved as social developers, which might include blogging, helping others on platforms like stackoverflow.com or speaking at their local user groups, passing knowledge and experience on to others.

Of course, we also have families, significant others, kids - people we care about. They deserve to get a significant portion of our time and attention and quite naturally, we like and want to dedicate as much time as possible to them and spend our evenings, weekends and free time with them.

And as if all of these activities would not suffice to fully consume every minute of the available time we have each day, I also think it’s quite important to stay fit and healthy and have regular workouts, runs or any kind of sports. Because – let’s be honest – the usual developer’s lifestyle is not the healthiest one and requires a lot of sitting und little physical activity each day. So we owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to take care of our bodies and stay healthy to be around as long as possible.

Your mileage may vary, but these activities more or the less make up my regular schedule, which I am able to handle to a reasonable degree. That was until the Football World Cup started recently and suddenly my evening timeslots got fully allocated by the games being on TV. I am crazy about football and couldn’t miss any game, which apparently meant a significant interference with my usual schedule.

Initially I tried keeping my regular schedule up by further reducing my amount of sleep, but that pretty soon wore me out and drained the necessary energy I need for my family, work and sports.

So I tried watching the games, while getting a bit of work done on the side. That turned out to be less than satisfying, for it neither allowed me to focus completely on my work nor be able to enjoy watching the sport I love.

That’s when I realized that I simply needed a break and had to cut back on some of my agenda items.

For obvious reasons, my family and my job were out of the question here, so it had to tune the remaining variables, like blogging or workouts. As soon as I had made this deliberate decision, my guilty conscience went away and I felt relieved.


Looking back now, it feels more than stupid, having put myself under this kind of pressure. I will remind myself not doing that again, when I go on summer vacation with my family – which will be next week :-)