Sep 1916


Like listening? We recorded an episode of our brand new podcast on this very topic. Listen to it here.

Not letting one side outweigh and overpower the other.

Work and life. Should these be balanced? Or should they be one?

I’ve heard a couple opinions recently that attempting to achieve work-life balance is solving the wrong problem. When work and life go hand in hand, there’s no need to balance them right? If one succeeds, so does the other. It’s not a zero sum game.

What then, are we to make of burnout?

Is burnout only something that occurs when you’re working on something that doesn’t resonate with the rest of your life? Is it only when you’re working for The Man, be it your boss, or your VC, or even yourself?

Sometimes we set ourselves unrealistic expectations, and drive ourselves to work every waking hour to get them done. For some of us, VC’s are putting an unspoken pressure on us that if we don’t work so hard that we sleep at our desks then we’re not really made for the entrepreneurial game. Sometimes our boss tells us of a hard deadline and we have to break ourselves just to get it done.

I’ve been watching the latter first hand the past couple months. Mike, the guy I work with, co-founder, partner in crime extraordinaire, has been maxed out at work. He’s gone above and beyond his normal levels to fulfil a specific hard deadline at his day job. He’s running on empty, but feels like he needs to keep running to meet the requirements of his 9-5.

Mike loves what he does, and enjoys our work on the side too. He’d go as far as to say that the work we do with Contrast is a hobby.

When your hobby is starting your own startup on the side, what does resting look like? Is it healthy to come home from an intense day at work and spend more time in the evening coding?

These are questions that I’ve been thinking about lately, in a bid to avoid making things worse.

What does it look like to be burnt out? I’ve not been there, but Mike’s pretty close. In this week’s episode of Hit Reply, I spoke with Mike about what it’s like from the inside, and our thoughts on whether it can be avoided, and if so, how.

Check it out:

Fred Rivett's face@fredrivett