Taking time away
In case you haven't notice, this blog has not gotten updates much this summer. Some people have even noticed the overall lack of activity on my GitHub. Emails have gone, several weeks unanswered.
People have been reaching out to me, asking if I was ok. Some people seem to have thought I was having issues at home, or with my health.
For those of you whom said something. I'd like to say, thanks for caring about me. Over the last 6 weeks, I have been on holiday. I take huge vacations every Summer. I use it as a time to relax, and reflect.
I was my worst enemy when it came to relaxing on holiday
At one time when I took holidays. I use to bring my laptop, and just essentially coded from a remote location. I myself was the barrier to my own enjoyment. I would come back, and would never feel rested. Eventually I came up with some techniques to unplug, and I figured I'd share them with you.
Some people have asked me how I unplug. To start I must tell you what gear I bring with me when I travel. I usually bring my cell phone, a surface tablet, and lately my Nintendo switch.
In android you can heavily curate which apps can send notifications
settings -> notifications -> turn off certain apps I usually turn off all email applications, all e-commerce apps such as amazon. I log off any slack teams related to work. This means I do not get notifications for email, advertisements for sellers, or communications related to work.
Do not disturb
Most cell phones have a do not disturb feature. In android this works, very similar to iPhone. When I go on holiday I turn the feature on. I mark calls from close family as allowed. I also designate a select few co-workers as able to call me. Like most people in the software industry, I should be contactable incase of major disasters. However, I don't just let anyone call me. The people whom can call know they are standing between me and the business while I am away. They are people that should be able to handle most problems. I documented whom they are in my out of office message, and on an internal page about myself.
I am an avid user of Firefox. Like chrome, Firefox lets you log into Firefox to sync history, bookmarks, and cookies. When I go on holiday I logoff my browsers, and then clear all local storage. This makes it hard for me to accidentally login to my email, or GitHub. By placing this barrier up, it prevents me from being my own enemy while I am gone. This ensures I don't rob myself of a holiday.
This is the most important part of the trip. Now I must have a computer for my own sanity. However, before leaving for my trip I wipe my laptop completely. I then do not install anything other than Firefox. No programming tools, no project documents, no nothing. I have no access to files, or ssh keys. This is again to place barriers upon myself. I'm going on holiday, not to sit around and work. I might put movies on my laptop, and Netflix. However I'm not about to load a bunch of work documents onto it.
I have had many people reach out. People have explained to me how burnt out they are. I've seen many friends jump employers. I can assert that you are your best advocate. You need to stand up, and shout when your are burnt out; Or try to get others to shout for you. Without proper rest, and time away, you will not be ready to tackle your businesses needs. Any business worth its weight, will gladly let you go on holiday, and any that do not, are not worth working for. Find employers that value you as a person. Those employers are not always the best paying, but being treated as a human being is head and shoulders above money. Your family, and your wellbeing are more important than the company you work for.