My T-SQL Tuesday contribution for this month is about experiences dealing with work/life balance. Which is hosted by TJay Belt this month.
TJay has invited us all to share our experiences dealing with your own personal journey with work/life balance. You can find out more about the invite by clicking this link about their T-SQL Tuesday 141 invitation or on the image below.
Work/life balance at the start of COVID-19
Here’s the thing, just under six years ago I moved to the Netherlands. When I first moved over here, I worked from home five days a week. After a while I left that job so that I could start working in an office for a Dutch company.
However, then COVID-19 came along and everything changed. I was working from home again. Because I had worked from home before I found it reasonably easy to adapt at first. In fact, I was giving others tips on how to cope.
I was used to attending online meetings, so I found it easy to adjust. However, for various reasons my desire to learn new things had increased.
So, when the curfew started in the Netherlands, I found that I was spending more time learning new things. Due to the fact I was spending more time indoors. For example, the material to pass the AZ-400 exam that I covered in a previous post.
Plus, because a lot of events in Europe were being cancelled, I had an idea for an online event. Due to the involvement of others, it grew into the DataWeekender conference organized by people from around Europe.
All of the above had an impact on my work/life balance.
With all of this going on I was spending a lot more time in the office. Luckily my wife had treated me to a new desk just before COVID-19. However, my trusty old office chair from the UK had seen better days.
In fact, what a lot of people who attended probably do not realize is that I sat through the entire first DataWeekender conference with a broken chair.
Afterwards, I vouched I would get a more comfortable chair for days when I have to sit in the office at home for longer than expected. Especially since my old office chair was well over a decade old.
So, thanks to a recommendation I treated myself to a Secretlab chair with the money I had saved from not travelling to conferences. Which is a very good chair. Trust me, a good chair contributes to a good work/life balance if you find there’s days when you have to sit in it for long hours.
Another thing I make sure I do these days is to take breaks away from my desk more. Plus, I timeslot the time I spend to learn new things now. So that I have more time to do other things.
Realization about work/life balance
Another thing I have come to realize is that as much as I want to attend as many online events as possible and spend more hours learning new things I just can’t.
Due to the boom in online events and learning material available, spending a large number of hours online be chaotic for anybody who wants a good work/life balance. Especially if you have a full-time job.
I love learning new things and attending conferences, both as a speaker and an attendee. With more things being virtual these days I found myself wanting to attend as much as possible and do more training.
However, I also have other work/life commitments like my marriage and my day job. Plus, both me and the wife have had our vaccinations now. With this in mind, I have been testing new ways to have a better work/life balance.
For example, I have recently been experimenting with attending online events during certain timeslots during the week to prepare for the return of in-person events. Because in-person events have started happening again in some countries.
Just to be clear, online events are just as important as in-person events for personal development and I encourage you to attend them. This is just something that I am testing due to my circumstances. At the end of the day different things work for different people. It depends on your situation.
Of course, I still spend a fair amount of time a week doing things for the tech community. Especially writing posts and presenting, which I love doing. In fact, the day after this post is published I am presenting Azure DevOps Duet online for the Hybrid Virtual Group.
Another thing I am doing is thinking about what to do when things change for the better. Including some plans relating to a campervan.
Work/life balance advice
One key point to remember is that even though we all have different challenges at the moment others have ideas that can help.
If you are looking for ways to improve your work/life balance is to follow the links to all the T-SQL Tuesday contributions this month on the invitation page. See if any are relevant for you.
I hope my T-SQL Tuesday contribution about a good work/life balance has been an interesting read. It’s been a challenging time for most people reading this since the outbreak of COVID-19.
Personally, I’m glad I am balancing things out better.
Of course, if you have any comments or queries about this post feel free to reach out to me.