You are a geek. An alpha geek. Don’t get me wrong. It is absolutely cool to be the guy that acquaintances call up when their computers stop working. It is also absolutely cool to be the guy that folks in office approach when some firefighting needs to be done. And it’s also absolutely cool to be the guy that relatives count on when they need help with installing software or automating their backup.
But beware young geek. The same geekness that makes you “wanted” will turn you into a battery if you don’t master the art of logging out.
Logging out is not just the art of disconnecting twitter. Logging out is not just the art of not checking your emails. Logging out is not just the art of putting your phone on silent. Logging out is a state of mind where you announce politely but firmly (making it very clear that you mean business) to the world that surrounds you, that you refuse to be turned into a mindless robot attending to things at hand.
You can typically logout as much as your life permits but typically a few hours a day is usually good enough.
When you are logged out, you do not take phone calls. You do not check emails. You do not talk to colleagues who walk up to you seeking your help with tweaking the server configuration. You do not help relatives fix their laptops. You do not respond to people on twitter.
When you are logged out, you are usually doing what matters the most to you at that point of time. When you are logged out, you resist the temptation of logging in. When you are logged out, you are in the flow. When you are logged out you have picked one thing, just one thing that you are going to focus on for the next couple of hours and that one thing is what occupies a good part of your mind.
It could be anything. Something you always wanted to work on or a work related problem that you had said you will attend to for months. Anything that you absolutely want to work on.
Most folks who need stupid favors from you might get annoyed at the idea of logging out but if you cannot be a in logged out state for a couple of hours a day, you are just being utterly unfair to yourself.
The logged out state of mind is what keeps your geekness smart. The logged out state of mind is where you geek comes to life and does some serious intellectual exercise. The logged out state of mind is where all the real work happens. The logged out state of mind is where things are built and then shipped.
Go ahead and logout for a couple of hours every day. Your true friends and genuine well wishers will understand. The others just want their computers fixed and will either wait or call geek squad.