I've been a bit of a hypocrite lately, not following my own rules about maintaining a work-life balance. Working late happens more often than it should (including today). And I haven't felt very rested -- which makes me feel mentally drained all day, which hurts my productivity even more and leads to more late nights. It's a lousy little cycle.
Sometimes it's completely our fault when these things happen. Maybe we overestimated what we could get done. But sometimes these long hours and lack of rest are a result of outside factors -- more edit requests than expected, illness or my personal nemesis, tech problems that sneak up and monopolize much of my time. And in the end I can get less done in a 12 hour day than I would in a normal eight hour day once the cycle kicks in. Focus takes a major hit when going without adequate rest and downtime.
Starting next week things should get back to normal for me. But that's because I insist on getting back to my schedule -- plenty of rest and relaxation so every minute of work doesn't feel like it drags on for hours. After all, if we don't take care of ourselves outside of work, we can't give the best of ourselves to the job during those normal working hours.
Do you find yourself stuck working late frequently? Are you a workaholic, or does it feel out of your control? What things tend to disrupt your schedule and lead to a lack of rest between projects most often? How do you nip them and get back on track as quickly as possible? How important is rest and your work-life balance to you? Share your thoughts and stories about working without rest in the comments below.