My wife has often uttered a particular saying during stressful times in her career. She spent 20 years working in computer telephony and speech, often in sales, and would remind her colleagues that they “weren’t saving babies” as they worked with customers.
It was a reminder that most of our work isn’t, ultimately, that critical to the world. It matters for our businesses to success, for our careers to move forward, but most of the time we should keep some perspective on the value of the time we spend at work versus the rest of our lives.
I ran across that saying recently in a post from Scott Hanselman, and like him, I’ll apologize if your work is actually affecting life. If so, I agree with Mr. Hanselman, make sure you have unit tests. Lots of them.
However for most of us, we’re trying to improve commerce in some way. A few of us work for non-profits or the government and hopefully are trying to make the workings of that organization more efficient. Some of us might be building systems using open data to improve society in some way. No matter what you do, remember that there is some life outside of technology.
Remember to spend time with your family, with friends, even taking care of yourself. Not only is it healthy to get away from work, it can help refresh you and give you a new perspective on the work you do. Work is important, but keep your efforts in perspective.