I’ve been asked the question “do you take weekends off?” many times. My answer is always the same. “I don’t think I ever take a day off.” You should see the look on some people’s faces when I respond with that line. Most are shocked. Some even look disappointed as if they don’t understand how I could possibly do such a thing to myself. And with each crazy look I get I always give a little grin back because I’m secretly thinking to myself: “then you must not like what you do.”
By the way, everyone needs a break. Even people who love their jobs need a break. I need breaks. Breaks are essential for winding down. Breaks are essential for clearing your head to make room for new ideas. God knows all of us need to decompress. But for how long? Is it so necessary to go on some kind of two week nature retreat to get back in touch with myself to try and see meaning in the world?
Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe it’s up to each individual to make those decisions. Maybe my work gives me purpose. Perhaps writing on this website is something I value more than almost anything in my life. Sure I might be crazy for feeling that way, but why should I feel guilty about it? Why apologize for it? Why run away from it?
Why I pretty much never take a day off
There are two reasons why I virtually never take a day off. By the way this pertains to ever since I’ve been working on my own (which is the past 13 plus years). Prior to me working on my own I would have liked to have taken every single day off. Anyway, let’s go to the first reason: I like what I do.
I wish it were more complex than that but it isn’t. I enjoy what I do. I like writing for this website. I like working on my other websites. I enjoy coming up with content ideas. I even enjoy editing articles. There’s just this sense of calm I get when I’m working. It’s a calm I rarely get elsewhere. And to top it all off I know I can make money, connections, build credibility and a whole host of other benefits. So why interrupt that? Why stop doing it? Do I work all day every day? Not even close. But I’m willing to bet that I work less than the average full-time worker. I have no doubts about that. On average I probably put in about 5-6 hours daily on weekdays and about 2 hours or less each day on weekends. However, this is besides the point. I like what I do and like I said, it’s that simple.
Second reason? I know it’s good for me.
For the same reason that eating vegetables are good for your body, there are some things you know are good for your overall mental health. Work is one of those things for me. Work puts me in a place of calm. It also puts me in a state of creativity. I also happen to be a person that really needs structure in my life. Work provides that structure for me. Honestly if I didn’t have a set schedule of things to do each day I’d go crazy and I think I would be in a huge decline. Work is a big part of that schedule.
All of this being said, does this mean I’m obsessive about my work? Not at all
It doesn’t mean I don’t get away
As I stated before, it’s not as if I don’t take breaks. It’s not as if I don’t completely detach from the office. It’s not as if I don’t have moments in my job that completely stress the shit out of me and I know that taking a walk is a necessary if not critical thing to do during those moments. But at the same time, even when I’m on vacation, I’ll check my email periodically. I’ll check on my websites to make sure they’re functioning correctly. I might write down a few content ideas here and there. Does it mean I’m working 5 hours a day on vacation? Certainly not. But for the same reasons you might check in on the safety of your home while your away, or make sure the stock market hasn’t crashed thus wiping out your portfolio, there’s nothing wrong with checking up on something that is a huge part of your livelihood. The key is not to abuse it. The key is to not be obsessive about it.
That’s probably easier said than done but like I said, there’s nothing to apologize about here. I like what I do and I’m going to keep doing it. It’s that simple. And I can only hope that more people out there feel the same way about their careers as I do.