Back in September 2013, the IEEE Spectrum published an article with a very interesting statistic: technical professionals need at least 10 hours of training each week just to keep current with the changing technology. Although this was geared more towards programmers and electrical engineers, it can just as easily be applied to systems administrators and other IT fields.
Ten hours a week doesn’t sound like a lot at first. That’s only two hours per weekday. Early in a career it may be easy to set aside two hours per night or a large block of time on weekends, but as your life changes, other priorities start to require that time.
There are very few ways to get that time back, and it usually comes at the expense of sleep or other hobbies and interests. I’ve heard more than one IT person say that they’ve given up on all non-work related hobbies because they don’t have time to meet their family commitments and keep up with technology.
I’m guilty of this myself. I’ve set aside hobbies such as photography and reading and writing on non-technical subjects because there isn’t enough time for it. I’ve traded sleep for lab time.
Doing this is a mistake. Trading in hobbies and interests for career may benefit your career, but you’re stealing from yourself when you do it.