Roy Tang

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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Push off work

The popular adage is that on your deathbed, you would not be regretting not having worked more. I think about this often, especially when there are people trying to convince me that I should do this work or that, because they have no one else to turn to or something or the work desperately needs to be done.

It seems that there’s always work that desperately needs to be done, but if you look at it closely the consequences are rarely that life-altering. More often than not the consequences will at worst amount to lost profits or missed opportunities. The world doesn’t need every capitalist to make money all the time.

There was a time when I was gung ho about work, when I would be happy to take on whatever new challenge got thrown at me. That time was fun for a while, but it’s probably not sustainable forever.

These days I won’t do any work that doesn’t align with my greater objectives (whatever those may be). These days I’m privileged enough to have the space to choose what work I do, and I choose to exercise that discretion. I won’t do any work that gets in the way of life, family, self-care, dreams, or mental health. I won’t do any work I don’t believe in. I won’t work with people I find annoying or stressful. I won’t do any work I don’t want to do.

Life is too short to be so obsessed about work.

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