I’ve been on that treadmill. It started right out of college when I took a job as a Project Manager. Managing large teams for multinational clients across a host of time zones meant being in early and leaving late. Weekdays were intense. I was so exhausted by Friday that the weekend was basically to recover for the next week.
Then I got promoted and took on more responsibility and other people’s pressures. Weekends got that bit shorter.
After a number of years I realised that this wasn’t for me but I really didn’t have anyone to call on to chat through what might be right for me.
An idea for a start-up had been rattling around so with a couple of friends we took the plunge. With the time to market monkey on our backs there was rarely any downtime. Weeks now had seven work days. We became less creative, more stuck in our ideas and ultimately less productive. It was also less fun and took a toll personally but the treadmill kept moving so I kept running.
Until one day I realised I could step off. That was a good day and I haven’t got back up on that treadmill since. That doesn’t mean life doesn’t have its deadlines or time pressures. It does but I always keep the lens of “why am I doing this” close by and a keen sense of when I need to carve out time and slow down.