This Monday, we released the first of several stages in a 6-month upgrade project to a big ERP system. As with any software project, it was a big rush at the end, but particularly so this time because I was lead, and we were doing a lot of architectural improvements (which I will talk about here in a series of articles over the next few weeks).
Anyway, in the race for the deadline, I worked late nights and weekends for sixteen days in a row. The stress was fine, because I was really enjoying the work, but by the end, I found I could hardly hold a conversation with someone about anything other than the project itself. It was as if all my social skills had somehow been sapped — the mind was willing, but the tongue had nothing to talk about.
I’ve never experienced such a thing before, and it was pretty strange. It’s important not to neglect your social life when you’re working overtime to finish a project. It’s very easy to start saying no to parties and spending time with your friends, believing you’re doing a good thing by having early nights and recharging your batteries. My advice to you is DON’T. You need the distraction right now more than ever.