On Friday, my friend Jeff in San Jose called me on his way home from work. He was stuck in traffic, bored, and wanted to hear about what exciting plans I had for my Friday evening. Jeff, being older and married with two kids and a mortgage, used to often call me to hear about my recent exploits and make fun of my misadventures back when I was still at Stanford. Last Friday, however, I could only report that I would be spending my evening reading a book and maybe watching a movie on my computer.
J: “Wow, that sounds incredibly lame!”
E: “The movie is called The Dictator. It’s supposed to be pretty funny.”
J: “Well at least it’s got a ‘dick’ in it. How come you never do anything fun and exciting anymore??”
E: “I don’t know, I’m just so TIRED all the time!”
Oh. We both knew exactly what I was talking about. It’s the tiredness that comes with working for a soulless corporation. I spend 8 to 10 hours a day intently supervising an LCD screen, I simply have no energy left when I get home. Now, I’m not talking about physical energy, mind you, but creative energy, the motivation to take initiative and produce.
When I first started my industry job, I thought that I would have all sorts of free time. I had just come from academia, where work has no bounds and THERE IS ALWAYS MORE TO DO. In industry, work doesn’t have to follow me home! If I come home at 6, I should have 4 or 5 hours to do awesome things! Warren and I drafted grandiose plans for world domination, and I promised myself that I would make progress on them whenever I had spare time. But the problem is, at the end of each day, all I want to do is numb my mind by watching or reading drivel. I’m supposed to be learning Ruby on Rails right now to build our website, but I haven’t gotten beyond step 1 of the tutorial (install Rails).
The worst part is, procrastination is so easy to justify. Anything can wait until tomorrow, and I always have enough food, shelter, and disposable income to get me there. It really is so easy to fall into a comfortable rut and continuously normalize my expectations to lower and lower energy levels. I don’t have a solution to this one, unfortunately.