I’m a team lead and production engineer at Auth0; as such, a large part of my working hours are spent on reactive work, mostly dealing with incidents or unblocking someone from my team. Since we have people from several different timezones on the team and incidents can happen at any time, I have a tendency to work many more hours than what’s advisable. It’s not super rare for me to start at 8am and go until 9pm, eating lunch in front of the computer.
This came up in a few 1:1s I had with my boss, who gave me a really useful piece advice, which was something along these lines:
“Embrace it. If there are no incidents going on and the team doesn’t need your help right now, rest. Go watch a movie, or do some light work you particularly enjoy, but whatever you do, rest and recharge. Problems will happen, and when they do the team will need you to be sharp and decisive. Treat recharging as part of your job.”
As a new team lead, this is extremely important to keep in mind. I still have a hard time implementing it, but it’s getting easier and better the more I learn to prioritize and focus on doing less, better.