The advice to "disconnect and unwind" before a vacation is often tossed around like free swag at a tech conference. But as a founder, I don't believe in completely disconnecting during holidays. So, before you judge me for peeking at my slack messages or reviewing metrics poolside, let's dive into this approach.
Holidays, weekends, and time off are crucial for anyone's well-being, but today, we'll focus on why they are equally essential for founders. You see, I have a different take on disconnecting. I don't view it as shutting down; instead, it is an opportunity to recalibrate.
Some might perceive this as stressful and unhealthy, but you know the famous saying, "Do what you love, and you'll never work another day in your life". daily.dev is a part of who I am, and coding is not just my work; it's my passion and hobby. It doesn't feel like work at this point, and I do it with unwavering enthusiasm. Moreover, in a small startup like ours, the founders' presence is crucial for the business's vitality.
Taking time off offers a unique chance to step back and reflect on our company's day-to-day operations, strategy, and other aspects that often get buried beneath the daily grind. It allows me to be selective about the work I engage in, dedicating time to important yet often non-urgent tasks. I enjoy prototyping, diving into coding projects, brainstorming new features, and letting inspiration flow. Some of my best ideas were conceived during these breaks.
During the time off, I usually skim through my slack messages and inbox at least once a day. If something demands my immediate attention, I provide support. Otherwise, I set reminders for when I return. My daily ritual of checking metrics remains intact, ensuring everything runs smoothly. This routine keeps me informed and eases the transition back—no stress about catching up or missing something crucial.
While this piece primarily revolves around founders, it's vital to emphasize that I don't impose these expectations on my team members. I recognize that this is their work, and I wholeheartedly encourage them to disconnect if they wish.
In the end, disconnecting as a founder is a highly opinionated topic. There's no one-size-fits-all answer; what works for you may differ from what works for me. However, regardless of your approach, one thing remains indisputable: time off is critical for our well-being, so be sure to take some.