Enterprise Software

Get away from the helpdesk - do something different when you get home


It is all too easy to go home from work, switch on the PC, and surf the net or get caught up in helping friends and neighbours with their computer problems. This is great, and you will be well appreciated in your community by fixing all their hardware faults, but do you ever get to unwind and clear your head of all things work related? You need to, if you want to preserve your sanity.

I have made a firm resolve to do more than work or think about work and try to make my free time as non work-related as possible. Where I live, this is quite easy... there is a glorious beach about 300 yards away, there are walks along some of the world’s most spectacular coastal scenery, a preserved steam railway, and for the days when the sun doesn’t shine, I have my books, eBay trading, and my music to keep me occupied.

Writing articles and blogs for various clients uses up a lot of time, but when I want a break from all this, I take out my bagpipes, much to the consternation of the neighbours, and try my hand at blowing a few tunes. When they tire of that, there is always the trombone, three guitars, a trumpet, and one or two other noise-making devices. I would like to make it clear that I am not a musical virtuoso. I can say without fear of contradiction that the only person who derives enjoyment from my musical efforts is me. The pipes are by far the loudest, putting even the electric guitars into the shade, yet, as a challenge to my abilities, they provide by far the most pleasure.

The most important thing is: It isn’t work, it isn’t related to work, does not resemble work, nor does it prepare me for work or do anything to enhance my performance at work. Work is for the nine to five, Monday to Friday. Sometimes, we are known purely for how we make our living. So often we hear of people referred to by their occupation, but there is always a private life outside of the work sphere. It is important to have a life outside work, a way of letting off steam and for getting work out of your mind, even if only for a few hours.

What do you do to let off steam and get away from work? Do you perform operas? Conjure tricks? Paint masterpieces? I suspect that there is a lot of hidden and diverse talent amongst the world of IT. Let me know what you do and why.

23 comments
stephen.martin
stephen.martin

I usually mix my house tracks on my decks or i do some artwork in photoshop or the best one is to chill out with my loved one.

iceblast21
iceblast21

It takes some courage to do something completely wasteful. To play an instrument you'll never be good at, to watch a program you'll probably forget - these things are important, even if we don't get to record the break hours for pay. Even if we could be doing something better with our time, don't we already do that something most of the other time? I like to say this about people: "What defines us is not what we do from 9 to 5, but what we do in our free time." What we do in our free time is usually that much more relevant and important to us, and usually reveals much more about who we are than work could ever hope to.

glynn
glynn

I agree with everyone that has a distraction to get away for some time that is not directly related to computers. In my case I work from home and spend many hours on community related projects, unfortunately mostly computer related. I think I need on occaison to be the guy building the playground and not the guy planning it or doing the website about it. I just need to find out how.

smartin
smartin

I have been competing in powerlifting for about two years. It really helps with stress.

PhilippeV
PhilippeV

hobbies are great too when we want to escape. But whatever we can do with and for ourself, let's not forget our life with others: our friends, families, and sex pleasures, or just the joy of meeting new people in reality, within their life and environment. So great activities that give personal satisfaction: associations/coops, arts and sports performance, supporting in your local political association or work union, interesting you to the public life of your city, helping your friends to move in a new appartment, collective creations, environmental work (cleaning a river, helping your neighbours to solve their problems, making your projects to enhance the life in your neighboorhood...) In other words, get out of your home, and consider also making projects with your family. And during nights, let's not forget about face-to-face sex... forget online sex discussions!

bdaugherty
bdaugherty

yes this is true I have the same problems trying to step away from the pc world and enjoy life. But when I do find time I love to spend time shooting my bow. A little "cabrewing" thats canoeing with a lot of brew for those that didn't know :)I just wish others understood how much we do it seems like you can never find time to yourself. :)

LockOutGirl
LockOutGirl

Being very young and relatively new to the work force, I just recently moved out of my parents' home. Now, living in a 1 bedroom apartment really limits my chance to persue the hobbies I enjoy. I had a hobby previously that I still enjoy, but due to space constraints, and not wanting to tick off my neighbors, I can't do that anymore (much of that hobby involes spraying aerosol products that STINK, and are probably prohibited by my lease). Now, I come home and spend most of my time with my laptop within reach. I have most of my connections with friends over the internet, so it's hard for me to pull myself away. That being said, though, I'm going to be making a real effort now to physically get myself out there and work on the other hobbies I enjoy. Getting outside is very important, I think. If your work place is anything like mine, you're stuck in a windowless room with nothing but the buzz of fluorescent lights during the day. It can get very maddening. Workplace environment really does alot for our attitude. Getting outside in the sunshine and fresh air (unless you're one of the people stuck in snow or water right now) will really give you a pick me up.

Pringles86
Pringles86

Although you can consider flipping a house work as well since I will be making a profit, I enjoy doing it. Landscaping, replacing light fixtures, tearing out carpet and replacing it with wood flooring. It is fun. Other than that I like bowling, especially since I have been doing excellent the past 3 weeks of league. I like to sit back and watch movies, play some games, read a book, or just sit there and do nothing. Since I do not have a computer or TV in my house, it is fairly easy to get away from my daytime work.

dchow
dchow

I recently took up skydiving, but I've been doing drag racing for a long while with the stang. This past weekend I've gone traveling to different cities. The drive itself is usually worth it. Just imagine being that; and I'm still in college :(

w2ktechman
w2ktechman

When I go home, it depends on my mood/weather, etc. as for what I will do. If it is warm and still light outside, I am likely to be in the yard. There is always yardwork, especially since I rent and all of my plants are in pots. I grow cacti and succulents mainly, and have them thriving all over in about 4000 pots. They need repotting, soil tests, insect control, weed control, etc.. And when all of that is done, I still need to find (or build) new places to put them all. and/or re-arrange things. And this does not even come close, re-arranging, cleaning, moving everything around and sanitizing, etc.... Can be a lot of work. Other than that, I like hiking, rafting, and something I have not done in a few years, motorcycle riding. Then again, there are plenty of video games to pass time as well. After all of that, I do go online just about every day. I check my emails, browse, etc.

kdrungilas
kdrungilas

So true - we all need to unwind from work. And for all I love the logic of the pc and data world, I need to reboot my own life every night. My left brain during the day - my right brain in the evening - painting is my pastime. Sewing and knitting are also creative activities, but I'm now wondering if its also the "follow directions" and logicalness of those that I like, too?

matt
matt

Responding to your question, one thing that keeps my mind in shape and relieves a lot of stress after work it would be riding my sport bike, and riding it fast. I'm fascinated for speed and motorcycles, the combination of both provides to me with a healthy dose of adrenaline which sometimes I cannot replicate it at work.

ktjobsearch
ktjobsearch

After working sometimes the last thing I want to do is spend more time behind a pc. I tend to get away working on my car, listening to music, creating music, video games or just spending time with family and friends.

sukhbinder04
sukhbinder04

Quite true, i spend my time after office in making aero models. thay are my pass time. Apart from that i like observing people from my 4th floor balcony.

tburns
tburns

have been liftin for bout 5 years now. There is nothing better then after a day of irritable users to take out that stress on some weights. Iv never been strong enough to compete, but if I ever had the chanve. Id love to.

MGalloway777
MGalloway777

from the machines. Anything outdoors, golf, R\C planes...whatever. I have not started the home computers in probably a month and I cnt explain to you how good it feels.

ssh4
ssh4

I think there is a soothing quality to the activities you mentioned - painting, sewing, knitting. I don't view art as a logical,and as a follow directions kind of activity, unless maybe it is a paint by the number kind of painting. Did you learn these activities through formalized instruction, or do they inspire you from a different place. I ask because for me, in art, it changes alot. For example, some days, I start with a color and go and go from there, other times not so much.

christop095
christop095

ohh yea!!! i ride my sportbike everynight, it really helps me unwind, i feel totally relaxed when i get home.

clark1
clark1

Same here, just one little thing lately. Its been too COLD to ride. It looks like temps will moderate some next week so I will be getting the 'hawk out for some fun.

Former Big Iron Guy
Former Big Iron Guy

I'm a Scout Leader with Eagle Scout Sons, so I go to meetings with them during the week. We also go on monthly weekend outings in the great outdoors every month of the year. If there is not a meeting, and the TV doesn't have any shows on that I like, then I do carving on Scout wooden tie slides. Then I paint them up for my own use or as motivational and positive reenforcement gifts for the Scouts or Adult Scouters. If either of those ideas don't appeal, I'll also work on leather craft or beading for one of my sons, who has learned some of and keeps learning of his heritage, Native American Dance. We go to Powwows as a family, too. fbig

clark1
clark1

I spend alot of my off time doing things around the house. Cleaning the garage, tracking down a short (this weekend), going shopping with my wife, surfing the net but NOT working on any PC's unless its one of mine.

clark1
clark1

ride everyday but when the air temp is in the 40's that makes for a COLDDDDD ride in the mornings LOL

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