For years I’ve been planning to work fewer hours. I really don’t work all that much, maybe 50 hours per week, but with the office at home, there’s little separation between work and everything else. My plans were always centered around this or that milestone with Sifter, and I always truly believed that I’d let up. I never did.
Writing a book was a good break from working on Sifter full-time. It exposed something that I would have never noticed working exclusively on Sifter. Books have end points. You publish them. Then you’re done. (More or less.) They don’t go on indefinitely. Software, however, is never finished.
Short of selling your company or shutting down the business, work on your own web application will likely never end. There’s no finish line. There’s just the next release. And then the next one. Usability. Accessibility. Design. Delight. Performance. Security. You can always do more, and it will haunt you if you let it.
People might throw out a reminder that it’s a marathon rather than a sprint, but it’s not even a marathon. A marathon still has a finish line. You can rest when you’re done. You know how much ground you have left to cover. This means getting past this concept of doneness and accepting that there isn’t a finish line. Put in a good day’s work, and then stop. It will still be there tomorrow.