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Work Tunnel Vision – Why It’s Bad For Your Mind

Filed Under Human Factors, Thought Stuff


Many developers suffer from a syndrome called WTV – Work Tunnel Vision. I will admit to being a workaholic, but reminding yourself that work is not everything needs to be a constant reminder to better mental health.

Inspiration Comes From Life

Ever hear the quote:

So deep in the forest he can’t see the trees

Most of life’s answers are hidden in the life around us. For example, where do you think I get all the analogies for this blog? I do not dream of making a post correlating software and socks, I am inspired by life around me.

Time away from work now and again can help you analyze your problems from different perspectives and thus refocus on your work problems with new solutions.

Realigns Priorities

Which is more important – making that fictitious deadline or watching your child play a board game?

Stepping away from work can help us realize what is truly important in life. In my line of work, will anyone be hurt if the “Print To PDF” feature is not done? No. Would anybody be hurt if I missed her school play? Yes.

Time away from work helps realign priorities, which in turn allows us to be more productive when we are at work. We know what has to be done before we go home, and we know what is more important, therefore we will work smarter and faster to accomplish it while we are there.

Recharges The Batteries

Nothing works on an empty fuel tank and that includes your body and soul. Ensuring that you do not focus all of your time and attention on work allows us to reenergize – the true key to productivity.

Being well rested both mentally and physically improves:

  • Enthusiasm (Moral)
  • Problem solving
  • Concentration
  • Communication
  • Alertness
  • etc…etc…etc…

In the end, it is easy for you to know when “enough is enough” but it is much harder to have the discipline to walk away. At minimum, once a week walk away from a situation that would otherwise hold your body and/or mind hostage for the day – you will feel just as alive if you were 16 playing hooky from school.

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