The last two years of my previous employment were 9 and 10 hour days followed by checking of email on my blackberry to an almost crack addict level of OCD.
I turned in my blackberry on the 24th of May and the following weekend it felt strange, almost wrong, that I didn't wake up roll over and check email to see what had happened overnight. In my mind I knew there was nothing wrong and infact this was a good thing. But I was conditioned to constantly check.
Conditioned by random phone calls on a Sunday afternoon "Hey this is OLDBOSS, did you see that email?" my internal dialog went something like; "No I didn't see that fucking email because I am not on fucking call this week and I trying to have a nice relaxing Sunday with my family like you should be doing". Of course I didn't say that, usually it was something like "what email" at least that's how I was in the beginning. Then I started checking all the time and there were even a few times where it was me calling to ask if he'd seen that email.
You don't realize that it's happening because its a slow sinister process that elicits a Pavlovian response in the brain that kicks in with every little beep, blink, or buzz of the phone. Only once you have perspective on the situation do you recognize how bad it had become.
My usual email load was somewhere in the 3-400 range with about 25% requiring me to at least read and comprehend the contents however at any given time I could get a pop quiz dropped on me about one particular email that was poorly formed with an irrelevant subject so there was always the possibility of missing something.
I have been under new management for a week now with today marking my first full day in the office. We are moving very fast but it feels so much slower, so much more controlled and better paced than my last job. Throttling back has been difficult because I feel like I have been running wide open for so long that even my half speed feels overly enthusiastic in the new place. Perhaps it's just that new job smell but I get the impression that I am going to be a lot more relaxed.
I went through the first set of training docs today and to be perfectly honest it was really easy to understand and my retention hasn't been a problem. I'll be surprised if I am not AWS certified by the end of summer.
So TL;DR or long story short if you're not into the whole brevity thing : old job trained me to live to work now I need to remember how to work to live.