Anybody who has worked in system administration, software development, or information security is probably familiar with the stereotypical “rockstar” employee. These are the employees that are too busy to eat, work ridiculously long hours, and replace sleep with caffeine. They’re often held up on a pedestal by other “rockstars” and sometimes even admired by their fellow coworkers and managers. Unfortunately, they also the model many computer science students strive to be.
The problem with these “rockstars” is that they have a short shelf life. You can only keep up that lifestyle for so long until you start facing major health issues, which is why I was happy to see Lesley Carhart write a short post aimed at hackers offering them advice to take care of themselves. Computer science disciplines need more people discussing the importance of taking care of yourself.
I’ve never been much for the “rockstar” lifestyle. I like getting a decent amount of sleep (which is about six hours for me) each night, socializing, eating decent food, exercising (which I’ve started to take very seriously this year), and not dealing with work during my off hours. While this lifestyle hasn’t made me a millionaire I can say that my quality of life is pretty awesome.
Don’t spend every waking hour working. Take time off for lunch. Eat a decent supper. Try to workout at least a few times per week. Go out with friends and do something not related to work. Go to bed at a decent hour so you can get some actual sleep. Not only will your qualify of life improve but your ability to handle stress, such as those days where you absolutely have to put in long hours at work or those days where you get sick, will be greatly improved as well.