Swizec Teller - a geek with a hatswizec.com

Senior Mindset Book

Get promoted, earn a bigger salary, work for top companies

Senior Engineer Mindset cover
Learn more

    The Trouble with Vacation

    Vacation kills momentum.

    I've experienced this momentum killing effect twice this year. The first was after I came back from the epic Grand Canyon roadtrip. The second is right now, coming back from a company retreat in Cabo.

    Don't get me wrong, I love vacation. I need vacation. Coming back from vacation and restarting the pre-vacation momentum is the death. Newton's first law: An object at rest stays at rest, and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

    You can think of daily productive habits as momentum. If you go to work for 8 hours every day, doing so becomes reflexive. Momentum. If you go to the gym every day after work, you'll keep doing it unless you make an active decision not to. Momentum.

    If you write an article or make a video every day, you can keep doing it. Sometimes it’s easier, sometimes it’s harder, but it's easy to put something out there. Even if you write every other day, you can keep doing it almost without thinking. Momentum.

    And then vacation stops all that.

    The unbalanced force of vacation throws you out of whack. Maybe you can keep up some daily exercise, but it's not quite the same as going to the gym. Maybe you can keep writing a little bit…

    But the pool and jacuzzi and cocktails and friends and nightclubs and lounge chairs and books are soooooooo inviting, and you realize just how tired you've been all these weeks. You deserve a little break, don't you? God damn it, you've earned it!

    So you don't. And then you're fucked.

    Do you reeeaaaaally want to get back to all of that work you've been doing before? Like really really? You loved it, and you loved the results for sure, but you can't deny how much easier life would be if you, you know, didn't. You just saw how easy it was. Relaxing and nice and nothing bad happened.

    Or did it?

    In my case, not writing has a direct effect on traffic. The classic content treadmill problem.

    At the end of December, I went on a roadtrip, and traffic went down. Then in January, it took a few weeks for the traffic to build back up. Then I fell off the wagon and started posting irregularly again, and traffic fell down to maintenance levels.

    The week off didn't have as much of an effect as it did in December, but we'll see what happens. Stitching together a newsletter for Friday is going to be hard. ?

    Fingers crossed this short rumination starts the momentum. Here's a video of some snorkeling fishes.

    Published on March 1st, 2017 in Opinions, Personal, Travel + Events

    Did you enjoy this article?

    Continue reading about The Trouble with Vacation

    Semantically similar articles hand-picked by GPT-4

    Senior Mindset Book

    Get promoted, earn a bigger salary, work for top companies

    Learn more

    Have a burning question that you think I can answer? Hit me up on twitter and I'll do my best.

    Who am I and who do I help? I'm Swizec Teller and I turn coders into engineers with "Raw and honest from the heart!" writing. No bullshit. Real insights into the career and skills of a modern software engineer.

    Want to become a true senior engineer? Take ownership, have autonomy, and be a force multiplier on your team. The Senior Engineer Mindset ebook can help πŸ‘‰ swizec.com/senior-mindset. These are the shifts in mindset that unlocked my career.

    Curious about Serverless and the modern backend? Check out Serverless Handbook, for frontend engineers πŸ‘‰ ServerlessHandbook.dev

    Want to Stop copy pasting D3 examples and create data visualizations of your own? Learn how to build scalable dataviz React components your whole team can understand with React for Data Visualization

    Want to get my best emails on JavaScript, React, Serverless, Fullstack Web, or Indie Hacking? Check out swizec.com/collections

    Did someone amazing share this letter with you? Wonderful! You can sign up for my weekly letters for software engineers on their path to greatness, here: swizec.com/blog

    Want to brush up on your modern JavaScript syntax? Check out my interactive cheatsheet: es6cheatsheet.com

    By the way, just in case no one has told you it yet today: I love and appreciate you for who you are ❀️

    Created by Swizec with ❀️