I wrote this 2 months ago at the end of a long project. Now having recently finished Alpha on a new project for DWP that was even more challenging… I wish I had listened to my own advice.
So here’s the post unedited from what I wrote 2 months ago:
The importance of downtime
I’ve just recently come off a large project that kept our team very busy for the last 2½ years. It was a fantastic project, a fantastic group of people and I loved working on something that felt like a certifiable “good thing”.
It was also quite hard.
When I started writing this blog I intended to try and write regularly, at least once a month. But with the amount of time I spent on the project coming home at night and programming or writing became less and less desirable. It’s been an avenue of frustration for me, feeling like I should be able to do more with my days but never finding the time.
Over the last month I’ve been on the “Bench” in Kainos waiting for my next project to start. It’s given me some downtime and I can feel myself coming back to normal. In that time I’ve explored new languages, built meeting room dashboards for the office, built an awesome SBT plugin, travelled to our other offices and more. Having the time to work on stuff because I’m interested in it, rather than because a scary deadline is looming down upon the team, has really helped rejuvenate the mind.
So I’d like to make a proposal that we need to give ourselves downtime. One day a month to work on something that interests us, or write a blog post, or fix the way your ssh connections constantly drop out after 25 minutes could be enough to stave off the dreaded spectre of burnout.