Posted by: SJC
Application Value, Economic Slowdown, Independent software developer, work-life balance
Certainly these are trying economic times for us! We’re all seemingly “trying” to keep our heads above water economically, or at least minimize our losses. We’re “trying” to make sense of an economy gone into a spiral, and “trying” to maintain balance during all the turmoil. These “trying” times can also make us “trying” to be around as we’re not fun to be with as a result of letting the “trying” times get to us!
Even the most high-energy type “A” personalities can appreciate times of slowdown as they may provide an opportunity to not be “pushed” or to “push oneself”, but rather provide an opportunity to slow the pace down, smell the flowers or just work to live rather than living to work. Slowdowns not affecting ones economic security and well-being can actually be nourishing. Welcome to 2009 and economic insecurity!
So now what? Some of us will completely destroy any economic security by upsetting the work-life balance so drastically as to destroy relationships with spouses and children. This seems to be one of the first changes that I’ve seen workers make (…voice of experience here…) — they’re gonna’ work longer and harder — the better thing to do would be to work smarter! (…easier said than done I agree! ) Now that I’ve mentioned working smarter you might wonder just how you can work smarter – what might working smarter look like for you? I’m glad you asked.
I believe that for the independent developer working smarter might just look like finally getting into the “project” that has been dwelling in the far recesses of the brain for a long time — something like perhaps “..learning how to …”, or “…re-writing something to make it more manageable” — that kind of project – something for yourself and your own peace-of-mind. It may not bring about any immediate income, but a project like that can provide peace-of-mind, confidence and some sense of security as it strengthens your own sense of capability. It can also help you shut out the negative “voices” trying to get you to despair. Heck, it may open doors never seen before – areas that you can eventually delve into profitably.
In my opinion (I get to voice it here as this is my blog ), the most dangerous of all ways to handle the times we’re all going through right now is to shutdown. Don’t shut down! Shutting down just gets one deeper into the spiral, the black hole so to speak. Keep active, strengthen your relationships, be creative. These are times to become creative if you are not naturally that way, or to activate your inate creativity to its fullest! “Yankee ingenuity” isn’t only for us Yanks!