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Know Your Limits

So a couple of weeks ago, I pushed myself to the limit. For three weeks I’d worked 74+ hours at both my jobs, did my part to maintain my home, and took time to spend with my fiancee. This led to me going to bed no earlier than 1am and most of those evenings (or early mornings) staying up past 3am. I didn’t sleep a lot, and after those three weeks of subsisting on coffee and finding time to take small naps my immune system deteriorated and I got pretty sick. I don’t get sick a lot. It was the first day I ‘ve taken off from illness from my job in 18 months. Lucky for me I bounce back quickly and I was only down and out for a few days, but I did miss a local convention I wanted to cover for the Misdirected Mark Podcast and had to call in some help to get a few things done.
So I found my limit and now I’ve started to readjust what I can and can’t do. I’m trying to actually sleep for at least 6 hours a night (which I’ve been successful at for 10 out of 14 days), drink less coffee by limiting myself to one cup every 24 hours (which of course I’ve broken once but at least it was only once), and drink a lot more water (which I’ve been very successful with). I’m also getting a little more exercise in, aside from the seven or so miles I walk at work every day. So far so good.
The lesson here is know thyself. It’s OK to push yourself to the edge sometimes but once you’ve found the edge, or fallen off it, you need to step back and do a little self analysis to make sure you don’t do it again. I feel that is the space where you can find your most efficient self and become the best version of yourself you can be, not just as a creative, but in anything.

Christopher Sniezak

Christopher Sniezak

Since 2011, Chris has written and designed for games like Fate, Gumshoe (Dracula Dossier), Numenera (Tales from the Mechanical Bard), and D&D (Living Forgotten Realms scenarios). As a podcaster, he’s been the host, producer, and audio engineer of The Misdirected Mark Podcast, Down with D&D, and Geekin Out. In his spare time he loves listening to audiobooks and podcasts, playing board games, and watching or reading anything superhero related.

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  • Alphastream05 May 2015
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    Great of you to recognize it and to be willing to share it! I don’t work 60+ hours anymore. Employers don’t seem to care when we work them and they don’t reward us for them. It becomes an accepted thing, but has a huge toll on our lives and even our work performance. For years I’ve stuck to 40-45 hours a week and encouraged my employees (when I managed them) to do the same. Work efficiently and well on the critical tasks. End of story.

    Where I do trip myself up is the balance between the remaining hours and the competing pull of family and freelancing. Family almost always wins, leaving me writing at very late hours of the night. That’s a problem I haven’t yet solved. Sleep is critical for health, so I do really want to balance this better over time. I want to live a life filled with many years of gaming!

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