Was buying a bicycle.
I have little interest in regurgitating all the gushing endorsements for ‘Exercise as a wellbeing activity’. We’ve all heard it all before and I have no special insight. It’s just that it’s been true for me and I wanted an excuse to show off pictures of my bike. This isn’t a good one, but it’ll do.
So simply, my old bike got stolen about the time as I started getting good at my job. I didn’t replace it partly because I had other financial concerns at the time (operation get on the housing ladder), but I wouldn’t have ridden it anyway as I was too deep into writing code.
My job took over my life the exclusion of almost all else and time rumbled on. My legendary metabolism vanished shortly after my 25th birthday and a few years and a couple of startups later I found myself exhausted, mentally frazzled, unfit and unhappy.
So, I bought a bike.
And it worked. I rode the bike, my fitness improved and so did my mood, energy and enthusiasm for my work. After a year I felt refreshed enough to have a go at startups again.
And then I messed it all up.
Actually that sounds more drastic than it needed to, but I was too busy with my startup to ride my bike. By April I was once again exhausted, frazzled, unfit and unhappy. Which was a shame because I’d worked really hard and wasn’t really feeling the upside of it all.
So I made time to ride the bike. I work from home one afternoon a week leaving the office at lunch time. I always intend to leave early to get home in time for my weekday club ride, but there was always ‘one more thing’ or somebody needed something. Disappearing at lunchtime fixed that. And Sunday is ride day, no matter what.
And it works, again.
It’s one of those weird circular things. If you want to be good at your job, you also need to be good at not doing your job. Neglecting your life to focus on your job is neglecting your career too.