January 12, 2021 by Kenneth Fisher
James McGillivray (blog|twitter) wants us to give him a break. Well. Actually I guess he wants to know how we take a break. How we relax, recharge, and avoid burnout. In many of the cultures we work in we are driven to work, work, and more work. There is a high degree of stress involved and burnout is almost inevitable. There are lots of different solutions depending on your personality.
I tend to be strongly introverted but I’ve found over the years that physically going to the odd conference, even as little as once a year or so, and seeing a lot of my friends in person really helps keep me going. But, that’s really only an occasional thing. For dealing with the workload and every day stresses of life I find it helpful to switch directions on a regular basis. Clean house until I’m tired of it, then I blog for a bit, then maybe read for a while, then get back to cleaning, maybe build a model etc. To anyone looking on I appear a bit distracted, and to be fair I am easily distracted, but I’m also breaking up each of my tasks into bite sized pieces. Sometimes it’s a physical task and then as I get tired I move on to a mental task. My body rests why my mind works. Then back to the physical task. Other times it’s different types of mental or physical tasks. Either way, it’s something different, giving my mind and body time to rest while still being productive in some way.
I can’t promise that this will work for you, but for me I find I can work longer and feel less stress by shifting things around. Of course I also get lost easily and forget to finish things. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve written an email and forgotten to actually send it. But, hey, tradeoffs.