Question: Since you have developed RSI, have you found yourself trying to minimize the projects you do, or the number you juggle at the same time. And for those who are employees, do you have control over how much you do? How do people handle deadlines now? Do you continue to pace yourselves successfully? Do you anxiety levels rise at the thought of the pain to come, or due to putting pressure on yourself to finish something?
Answer 1: I have been promised an attempt at finding help at very busy times when there is a lot of keying to be done – BUT as there is never any money……….. I guess I just struggle on and fall behind with work when I can’t do it.
Answer 2: No, I’ve just tried to improve my posture and I’ve minimized my other activities e.g. newsgroups, bulletin boards, IRC, browsing other sites, nintendo, stuff like that. Basically, work had to come first. As my rsi is only a month old, I just carry on as before, I can feel my hands begin to hurt and I make sure I take breaks & microbreaks but essentially I work though it. At the end of a busy day I use what techniques I know to relax my hands again or I take ibuprofen (as directed by my GP).
There isn’t anyone to cover for me (I’m a subcontractor working in a small team and no one else knows how to do my job) and while my employers are sympathetic and have offered to look into any equipment that will help, deadlines are deadlines and as a small/med company, they/we can’t afford to miss them, end result we’d lose our clients if we did. I don’t feel any anxiety about this but as I said, I’m new to rsi and haven’t suffered hugely from it.
Answer 3: After years of putting work first and meeting deadlines by working through the pain I recently experienced a total shift in priorities in my life. I decided that pain was unacceptable and nothing was more important than my health. I was able to get my managers to accept that I must structure my work according to how much I could do each day, and I now have a great deal of flexibility about how I work.
The only way I had the courage to do this was to accept that I might lose my job but it still didn’t matter because I just couldn’t carry on as I had been doing before. I find I now take pleasure in my work again, and the anxiety levels are down. So far I’ve been lucky in how I’ve been able to arrange things. I have to say that, if it comes to a choice between a deadline and me, the deadline gets put back, although I usually manage to plan far enough in advance that this doesn’t happen.