Recharging and Refueling

One of the common threads that has shown up around here involves starting your own business, the joys and successes that go along with it, and all the stuff you can learn. One of the things rarely discussed is burnout.

If you haven't noticed, posting here and on CaseySoftware has been incredibly light. For me peronsally, it has been lots of work, a few painful customers, lots of long/late nights, and a variety of other things. Alright, maybe I shouldn't have bought Star Wars Battlefronts. Anyway, the rest of the CodeSnipers have been up to similar things along with a few job changes, a conference or two, and probably a variety of other things that I don't even want to consider at the moment. As we go along, we all let certain things slip and before you know it, we're behind in other things, missing out on things we enjoyed, or simply not enjoying the daily grind.

Last week, we made a focused effort to Recharge. On Thursday, my wife and I left for our first real vacation in about three years and the first time we've taken more than 48 hours off since founding CaseySoftware. Other than having our cell phones on, we completely unplugged. No email, no IM, no work, and the only thing I brought even resembling work was a single book about the Business of Software. I read ten pages of it and then went back to my fiction. I made a point of trying to consider work, projects, customers, and dollars as little as possible. I had forgotten what feeling Recharged was like. Even though I've been busy catching up, I have been able to focus better and faster, code and content has been flying off my fingers, and my reading backlog is steadily dwindling.

With many of us working in our own mISV's, contributing to numerous projects, and generally being active in the community, I've often wondered how others recharge. How do you deal with being out of contact? How do you deal without that regular flow of email and IM? How do you deal with the dozens (or hundreds) of emails once you get back?

I don't recharge

I think that might be a problem?

I don't know...

Personally I think it's a bad idea, but then I don't have much room to talk.

Reminds me of a story...

My wife and I were going on a week-long cruise for our first anniversary. I was not bootstrapping at the time, but was, even then, overly focused on technical reading and self-improvement. For reading material, I took along a book about Win32 API programming with VB6. Yeah, I know...

My wife and I went to the pool on the very first day aboard ship to relax, taking our books with us. I sat at the edge of the pool and put my book down for a moment. I turned around to tell my wife something, then when I went to pick up my book, I saw it floating in the middle of the pool. I guess someone somewhere was trying to tell me to lighten up and relax. So I didn't get any reading done, but I sure did enjoy the cruise :)

Brian Moeskau - Powering the Modern Family