In recent years, I’ve become more focused on working smarter and making the most of my time. It’s important to me to be able to focus on my work and personal life in a way that allows me to be present.
One way I do this is by limiting my use of social media. I've deleted all of my accounts except for a rarely-used Twitter account that I only use for technical purposes. Through LinkedIn, I've been able to stay connected with DX and focus on strategy and the platform.
However, once we reach product-market fit with our newest product, it's uncertain if I’ll be able to maintain this limited level of engagement with LinkedIn or other social media. I feel like I’ll want to shout at the world at what we’ve accomplished!
I’ve also tried to minimize my phone usage by removing most apps, and I only communicate with close friends and family using the secure messaging app Signal. Instead, I prefer to use my iPad to read books, watch series and documentaries, and listen to audiobooks and podcasts. In addition to consuming media, I’ve also been writing a lot lately by using the Remarkable tablet for writing, thinking, drawing, and studying.
Being present is something that I struggle with, but I’m working hard to improve. At work, I try to unplug my keyboard and put my laptop away during meetings. At home, I try to be present with my family by participating in activities and being fully engaged when I’m coaching my son’s soccer team. It can be challenging to be fully present and listen attentively in all interactions throughout the day, but I’m constantly working on it.
To help me focus, I’ve set aside specific times in my calendar for work, including Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 8 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. I’ve also scheduled my days off around logistics like picking up my kids from school and being a soccer coach. From 15:15 onwards, I try to wrap up my workday so that I can be fully present with my family without multitasking or my mind elsewhere.
As an evening and night person, I often do a lot of work or have meetings in the evenings. I also try to fit in 3-5 runs per week, either in the evenings or during my son’s soccer practice when I’m not coaching. Running is my form of meditation, and it helps me stay active. I’ve also been playing soccer for over 30 years. I enjoy the social aspect of it, but I’m trying to reduce the amount I play as I get older, and the risk of injury increases so that I can stay active in other ways. Additionally, participating in activities like running and soccer help me to stay active, and serves as a form of meditation.
Finding a balance between work and personal life is important for me as it allows me to be present and fully engaged in all aspects of my life. By limiting my use of social media, minimizing phone usage, and setting aside specific times for work and leisure, I can achieve a level of work-life integration that helps me focus on self-development and reflection. This approach allows me to be more able and present with my kids, wife, and my family. Furthermore, I am still able to stay informed about what is happening in the industry, going deep into certain subjects, and engaging in conversations with colleagues and friends which often spark curiosity and inspire new ideas.
My journey towards work-life integration is ongoing, but by making small changes and being mindful of my time, I am able to find focus in a busy world, strive towards productivity, and maintain a good work-life integration.