— On Comms Design. From London

Do the work, skip the party

I hate writing “life advice” type things but I came across this phrase, “do the work, skip the party” and I thought it was nice.

All my life has been plagued by the annoying “work hard, play hard”, meaning that you did 110% at work and then went out and celebrated 110% more. The reality for me was that I, like, I assume, most people, only have 100% to give. It’s not just common-sense mathematics but also the reality of a normal human being’s abilities. You have been given 100% and to be very honest most medical research tells us that we can barely achieve that without some form of artificial enhancement. So to ask me to give 110 at work and then 110 more after work seems not only idiotic but also a bit like endorsing illegal substance consumption. Work hard, play hard for me has

 always meant having to feel bad about giving excuses for not hanging out with people at work AFTER work. It meant having to justify my extracurricular activities which take me to comic book stores, cooking schools and not the pub after work. I hate “work hard, play hard”.

That’s why “do the work, skip the party” works for me. I realize that “do the work, skip the party” mostly means that you should not succumb to the hype of premature success and also not take your success too seriously. But for me it means that doing the work to 100% is enough. You then move on to do more stuff. Not work, something else, something that makes you balanced, more interesting, calmer. Work that is its own reward is the best thing I have been able to grow into since I started working almost 15 years ago. Prizes, parties, drinks are all nice but then you realize they are rather superficial and anyone with a large hotel room, a banner and a podium can give awards away. So being really good at what you do is enough. Then you do something else you enjoy. And that’s how your life becomes meaningful and purposeful. The fun is just a quality of that.