Many of us have worked on projects where each great accomplishment is greeted not with applause but merely another deadline. We might endure that once or twice, but after a few of those instances it just feels like a death march. Against all laws of physics and common sense, the energy level and motivation go down with every success. In the tech arena, this happens all the time. If you're not careful, all that hard work and extra effort is going to put your company right out of business.
There are limits to human endurance. We can push hard for finite periods and we can maintain a steady effort for longer, but eventually we need to recharge. Some of that comes from sleep and the occasional vacation. In an industry where we're passionate about what we do, however, we're often going to work ourselves to the extreme limits. A good night's sleep or a couple of days away from the office will help, but we may find when we return that we're still not completely recharged. We need more.
There's nothing like celebrating with your friends at the end of a long project to recharge your batteries and give you renewed energy for the next round of work. You're going to put in long hours, endure many frustrations and occasionally wonder if you should just chuck it all and become a hermit in the woods.
When you finally accomplish your objectives or enjoy a victory over your competitors, it's time to drink and dance by firelight and renew your spirit. If the HR department is a bit skittish about a bonfire in the middle of conference room A, you can always find a more appropriate means of celebrating. What's important is that you play together every bit as hard as you've worked.
We don't dig ditches for a living. We're fortunate in having a career that we're passionate about. In fact, that enthusiasm is one of our great competitive advantages. People who are fired up about what they do invariably produce the best results. When you're looking for ways to maximize productivity or find that next killer idea, don't underestimate the power of a good party. Howling at the moon is optional but highly recommended.