After almost a decade in esports (wow time flies!), I’m going to give some general tips for esports work life balance. I know some may say “embrace the grind”, “hustle hard”, “my competitors are working when I’m not” which is valid to a certain point. I know many peers who have not taken more than two days off in multiple years and it’s not sustainable. I’ve seen a few colleagues have huge breakdowns and take multiple months off to heal up. Rather than getting to a certain breaking point, I believe it’s better to be consistent in looking after yourself.
In my personal experiences, I was similar previously. I’d be working on weekends, after and before work at my day job then doing nights / early mornings in esports. I got burned out HARD. It took quite a long time to get there but it eventually happened. It’s not sustainable long term and it’s better to go at a pace that works for you and that you can sustain over a longer period.
Here’s some general advice from my experience:
- Esports is a marathon, not a sprint
- The long term outlook of esports is positive in the long term. Remember, many companies are putting out pitch decks, looking for sponsors and just building the foundation. I’ve been in esports for 10 years and we’ve barely begun to scratch the surface on what the industry will look like in the next 5-10 years.
- Breaks can help put things into perspective
- Constantly on the grind, never stopping and focusing on one thing doesn’t help. A break can help put things into perspective and give you a fresh outlook. Taking a day off or two here and there helps. Making sure to take time off for longer periods of time is quite important too!
- Don’t put off health problems, they may lead to bigger issues (mental & physical)
- Make sure to take care of yourself and get any lingering checkups done. Taking extended time off and not being able to return full time or at all is scary. Health problems can become really serious and should be looked at.
- Mental health issues are not always spoken about. Don’t let things spiral out of control. Reach out to friends, a therapist or others that can help. People are here for you and mental health is extremely important.
- Embrace the grind (up to a certain point).
- Ensure that you’re working on the right things and giving it your all is key.
- Knowing when to turn it up and get a crucial event out the door / deadline hit is important. Don’t do it all the time though
- Be a team player
- Relying on your team is important. Heroics are good sometimes but no one can be a hero all the time. It’s not sustainable
- Rely on your team and make sure you’re all on the same page.
- Make time for family
- Life is short. Make sure you make time for family and friends. It’s important to keep in touch.
- Detach from work
- Don’t be like me in my earlier days. It’s important to put the phone and screen away for a period to take a break. Even though it doesn’t feel like work it may catch up to you and impact others who think you’re constantly working and not paying attention.
- Have fun
- If you feel consistently stressed out and negative at your job in esports, make sure you try to have some fun. If it’s consistently feeling like that it may be time for a job or career change
- Know when to get professional help
- It’s not always easy to know when you need help but having a support system helps. Always be sure to reach out to a trained professional if you feel things are getting out of control.
So, what do you think? How important is work life balance to you? Leave some comments or feel free to contact me.