This is the celebrated journal of Mr. Simon Collison A.K.A Colly

You know you work too hard when…

27th January 2005

You know you work too hard when you end up documenting the fact that you’re working too hard. We’ve a lot of new sites to release over the next few weeks, but getting them finished is taking a lot of graft. Here are ten true ‘time for a rest’ symptoms I’ve noticed over the last two weeks.

You realise you’ve made a spelling mistake on paper, and for a split-second expect it to be automatically underlined.

You’re enjoying a film at the cinema, but thought you caught a glimpse of the OS X dock along the base of the screen.

It reaches 3am and you’ve forgotten to eat anything all night ... again.

You become selfish. You haven’t visited your parents for weeks, despite the fact that they live five miles away. Your girlfriend takes paperwork to bed as a back-up plan. The cat has given up begging for food, and instead has taken to chewing the ethernet cable.

You devour an entire packet of Cutter’s Choice rolling tobacco in one day, every day.

You’re a devout tea drinker who is suddenly racing through Nescafe Cappuccino sachets as if they’re liquid speed.

The paint is falling off your old G4 laptop like needles from a pine tree.

Your Desktop files are layered fourteen-deep and have become un-navigable.

You received eight or nine new DVDs for Christmas, but you’ve yet to remove the cellophane from a single one.

You ache. You’re developing a very bad back from laptopping solidly on the couch. And you’re getting RSI in your wrist from trackpad abuse. Your eyes hurt and your brain feels like a cake.

Some of those sound familiar? Thought so. The first two really are true - I know it’s stupid. I expect you’re all working far too hard to answer this question, but when do you know that you’re working too hard?

Responses

# Greg Hinch responded on 27th January 2005 with...

How about when you start dreaming about web pages (or whatever you’re working on). My ‘favorite’ is when I stay up late working on a project that is taking a long time and no where near done, and then in my dream I’m finished and enjoying the fruits of my labor…only to wake up and have reality come crashing in. At least all this work affords us web designers a level of monetary freedom not enjoyed by most…oh wait.

# James responded on 27th January 2005 with...

...when you are spending so long building websites that you never, ever, ever get round to building one of your own. It is coming. Honestly.

# Peter J.Lambert responded on 27th January 2005 with...

Dreaming in code is a bitch.

# Paul Watson responded on 27th January 2005 with...

At the moment I’m coding in ASP at work during the day, and in PHP on my own site during the evening.  I need a break - I wake up still in “PHP mode” and when I try to work on my site in the evening I’m still in “ASP mode” from the day’s work.

I’d probably be able to sleep if someone could supply a decent cure for Safari’s failure to support min-height.  Yes, I know, I have no life…

# Simon Collison responded on 27th January 2005 with...

Hello new folks, and hello Paul. Where you been, man? How’s Brighton suiting you?

The ASP by day / PHP by night thing is a good one. Greg, your dream is a bit like the one I have in a morning where I dream I’ve showered, got dressed, ready to leave for the office, only to awake and find myself face-down in a pool of drool. That’s what you get when you stay up ‘til 4am pissing about with BB Edit.

# marko responded on 27th January 2005 with...

My symptom is quite simple—if i can’t remove my contacts from my eyes, i know i’ve gone too far.

# Scott Hughes responded on 27th January 2005 with...

Another common one for me is to make a mistake on paper and then attempt to press Undo. :P

# steve responded on 27th January 2005 with...

when i go to stand up from my desk and realise i have barely moved a inch in hours and… owww! my neck/shoulders/arm/wrist! eeek. must get into the habit of doing some stretches one of these days…

# Mark Boulton responded on 28th January 2005 with...

I’m similar to marco - I know if i’m working to hard when I forget to blink, gather a thin layer of dust on my eyeballs which then shut down and render me almost blind for a couple of hours.

Quite lucky really, my body lets me know quite quickly.

# Ben Ward responded on 28th January 2005 with...

I also suffer the ASP.NET/PHP day/night issue. But I’m also on an internship year as part of my university degree, so I spent the last two weeks writing a presentation on accessibility… as well ASP by day, PHP by night. I haven’t slept right for a while.

The biggest sign I have of working too hard is when my brain starts trying to model everything around me in XML. That’s especially bad if it’s other people.

# Simon Collison responded on 28th January 2005 with...

You know you work too hard when your sitting in bloody Starbucks in Waterloo, spending five pounds (Five fucking pounds!) per hour for internet access, and you don’t care. I mean, I care about the cost, but every second is precious, so I gotta pay for it.

Anyway, good to know that when I’m busy coding at 3am, some of you lot are also at it. That’s comforting, folks…

# Jesse responded on 30th January 2005 with...

I just spent my only sleep-in day dreaming about explaining to a steering committee that I am not using the specific template - just a modified one - I designed for campus because it is too simple for the uni home page. Then I woke up at 6am with my mind still racing…

Oh, and I get the dock thing often.. especially when watching tv.

# evan responded on 11th February 2005 with...

yeah, the “cake brain” is when i know i’m done. along with “oatmeal head” & “monitor headache”....

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