I've been feeling pretty burned out recently so at my girlfriend's suggestion, I took a week off work. She was taking a week off any way so it made sense for me to do so as well.

I missed one important email and that was about it. I had set notices on my social media and my email that I was away for a week and wouldn't be answering messages which seems to have done the trick! I returned to work yesterday and got straight back to the person whose message I had missed.

I had set up Buffer to send scheduled tweets for No CS Degree - this worked really well actually and I got 30% more website traffic from Twitter as a result. I have got pretty jaded from developer twitter recently - you start to see everyone post the same engagement-bait tweets like "what was your first language" and you begin to roll your eyes. I guess it's normal that you get to be a bit cynical after a while.

Work is good for me

Although it was good to get some rest and refresh myself I am definitely keen to get back to work! I think a few people have this idea with startups that they will work super hard for a few years, make tonnes of money and then retire. Retirement seems a really boring option to me, at least early retirement does.

Sitting around watching movies and reading books gets old after a while. Remember, due to covid I haven't been able to travel. Also, all my friends are still at work. A holiday in 2020 during a pandemic where you can't leave your city isn't that much of a holiday.

I recognise as well that work is a big part of my identity. It's what gets me out of bed each day. It gives me something to talk about and engage myself in. The whole week I didn't check Twitter once and I can tell you the other social media sites really bore me. (Except Strava - it's cool).

Things I did during my holidays

  • I cycled out of town with my girlfriend to a small town further along the coast from Edinburgh. It was 45 miles there and back and a year ago I never would have contemplated cyclng that far. I want to cycle 62 miles (100km) by the end of the year.
  • I cycled over a big bridge for the first time and got out of my comfort zone
  • I tidied my apartment and found my DVD player. I was then able to watch a bunch of cool black and white movies from the 50s.
  • I watched TV (and promptly got bored of watching TV pretty quickly)
  • I went for some great hill runs with my girlfriend
  • I made some new recipes
  • I learned how to use my new sampler some more

Conclusion

I am glad I took the time off but I'm also glad to come back to work. A lot of people dread going back to work after a week off so it's a nice sign I was looking forward to it! Yesterday I also had a real look at what is and isn't working with No CS Degree so I've made some new priorities for what to work on.

I think in future I will probably take 3-4 weeks maximum a year as leave. This will seem like loads to Americans and maybe not enough for some Europeans. I do get a lot of purpose from work and I've got plenty more things I want to achieve.