Today Is the Day

Playtesting 12-12-13a
Playing games is now part of my job!

My last day at my regular, full-time job was this past Friday. It was a really nice sendoff–everyone had about a month’s notice, so all of the logistical preparations were taken care of. It was just a matter of actually saying goodbye.

I didn’t want any extra attention, so the goodbye worked in seamlessly with our holiday party. My boss said some nice things, the staff presented a really great video, and I said a little speech that was a mix of humor and sentiment.

And then I drove home and got to work.

This weekend felt like any other weekend–lots of Stonemaier work and a little bit of free time. But I have a feeling the real shock will come today (Monday). Instead of going to work and then coming home to work on Stonemaier, I’ll just…stay at home and work on Stonemaier.

It will be interesting.

I have decided that there are a few things I’ll need to be very careful about:

  1. I’ll need to get out of the house: Although I have a few set social activities every week, I’m an introvert. I could easily become a hermit if I don’t force myself to go out. Fortunately there are lots of game nights in the area, and I have soccer in the warmer months. Going to church today actually felt like a blessing instead of a task.
  2. I’ll need to be intentional about creative time: I spend a lot of time doing customer service, operations, and logistics for Stonemaier Games. I’ve found that can easily take up entire days without any time for creative work like game design or writing. I need to designate time for that every day or this isn’t going to be satisfying.
  3. I’ll need to exercise: Sometimes when I’m in the zone at my desk, I’ll sit here for hours without realizing it. I really need to get up and move. I don’t play soccer in the winter and I hate running, so I’d actually like to find some sort of amusing workout video on YouTube. Something that makes me get up and move. Any suggestions? Ideally it would involve a bunch of women in yoga pants telling me what to do.
  4. I’ll need to clearly convey to others that working for my own company does not equal unlimited free time/retirement: My *favorite* reaction to my announcement that I’m working on Stonemaier full-time has been, “Enjoy your retirement!” People seem keen to trying to fill up my newfound time as if it’s free time. I certainly appreciate the sentiment, but I need to find a clear and polite way to convey to people that I quit my day job because I needed more time to focus on Stonemaier Games, on which I was already working 40-50 hours a week and barely treading water.

What do you think? Any advice for Pantless Jamey?

16 thoughts on “Today Is the Day”

  1. A huge congrats to you for being able to make a dream into a reality. I know all too well what working for home for yourself is like. I have one suggestion: schedule your work days. Here it is 2am on the east coast and I am up editing my book. I have been working since 8am, apart from breaks to eat and spend a little time with my family. Although this is not always the case, the thing I have found about working from home is that work is always around. It’s kind of a like dishes and laundry but those things are easier to let slide.

    The business side of things is never ending. You can spend all of your time marketing and blink 6 hours later and realize that FB promo times has eaten away at your work time. Social media is a time warp. You can’t avoid it so plan it.

    Best of luck with your new venture! I’ve never been happier working for myself. I’m sure you will find it very rewarding 🙂

    • Amy–Thanks for your thoughts. I can definitely see what you’re saying about the lack of boundaries between work and home life. I’ll keep an eye on that.

      I’m glad it’s been so fulfilling for you!

  2. First off…CONGRATULATIONS!!! This is HUGE!!! I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am for you! Second, when I was living in St. Louis, a great social outlet and work out outlet for me was TITLE Boxing Club. The first time you go it is free, so you wouldn’t have to commit, it gets you out of the house for an hour to distract you, there are plenty of women there AND it gets blood flow to the brain so you can concentrate better on Stonemaier games! It is a win-win situation. Just a heads up, you will need to wear pants of some sort.

    So glad you have found your calling and again, I am so happy for you!!! The cats are probably happy about you being able to work at home too? 🙂

    • George–Thanks! That’s a really interesting idea–I wouldn’t have thought of that.

      The cats seem wary of this new presence in their daytime space…

  3. A couple of ideas that come to mind are:
    1. Schedule time to exercise/set alarms in your phone to remind you to stand up and stretch every so often.
    2. Join a gym.
    3. If it’s warm enough outside, take little breaks and go for a stroll outside– maybe even check with any neighbor-friends in your building to see if you can borrow a dog to walk (if you don’t like the idea of just waking around alone, and you’d be doing them a favor, too.)
    4. Invest/borrow a fitness band that alerts you if you’ve been sitting in the same spot for too long– similar to the phone reminder, but a gentle buzz on your wrist might be harder to ignore than a phone noise, especially if you’re in the zone working.
    5. If eating lunch out/with co-workers was part of your daily routine, maybe schedule the occasional lunch with old co-workers/friends to break up the work day sometimes?

    Since I’ve never worked from home, I don’t know if any of these are good ideas, but that it’s what I’d try.

    • Katy: Thanks for these ideas! I used to eat at my desk (lunch was my time to read blogs), so that won’t change, but these are some good ideas, if not oddly specific.

  4. Congratulations! I started working from home this past July. Organizing my day through the quiet was a little strange at first. I’m also an introvert and I worried about not getting out enough, so I started a new weekly volunteer position and joined a sports league. It’s been a great balance of work time and social time so far.

    But I wanted to voice my support for just spending time alone as well. Being alone gets a bad rap; I think because we often confuse it for loneliness. But I’ve found it to be very peaceful and freeing. I do my best work alone. Tanya Davis has a lovely poem on the subject, which you can check out here:

    Good luck!

    • Thanks Baffledazzle! I’m glad you can relate to the introverted side of working at home. Like you, i find working alone to be peaceful and freeing.

      I like the volunteer idea. That’s a good, focused way to get out of the house.

  5. Jamey, I think you’re disciplined enough that you’ll do well. You were able to get the business up and running in the first place, so I have no doubt you’ll be a master of your tasks. I want to remind you of something you said to me a few months ago about “being intentional with my time.” I second the comments here about setting a schedule for work, and I’d encourage you to set that for exercise, social time, spiritual time, leisure, etc. Anything that is important to you, give yourself permission to do and sufficient time to do it in (even if that includes 30 minutes of Donkey Kong).

    One thought for the creativity – don’t schedule that in so much as set a task for yourself. I find that when I try to be creative, it doesn’t happen. Rather, I force myself to alter my routine – take a walk, bring an assignment to the atrium or a letter to write to the dining room or a book to the corridor with all the windows by the highway. Get out of your normal workspace and dedicate that time to the task. As a fellow Catholic, you know the importance of sacred spaces – those places dedicated entirely to the worship of the Lord – and how ihey help to focus us and our senses on Him. Do the same with other things you’re dedicated to.

    Oh, and instead of saying “I’ll be creative today” – ask yourself a question, even a dangerous one:
    “How can you tell who is winning if you’re not allowed to have point counters?”
    “When is it better to have the odds against you?”
    “When would I prefer to lose than to cooperate and both win?”
    “How can I tell who is lying when no one is allowed to speak?”

    Just some thoughts. Let me know if you ever want a lunch meeting. I think I owe you a conversation about marketing analytics.

    • JT: I like your advice about leisure–I think I left that off my list. That will be important for me to do.

      As for creativity, it’s not the act of being creative that I struggle with. I have tons of ideas, and I love executing them. It’s kind of like what Amy said above–it’s easy to spend an entire day just doing social media or logistics. You look up at the clock and it’s 1:00 am, and you haven’t spent even 10 minutes working on that idea for Tuscany you wanted to prototype. So I want to be intentional about that–to realize that BGG isn’t going anywhere if I spend a few hours on game design, you know? 🙂

  6. Before I started working for myself, I would work on all my freelance projects on the couch after work. That only lasted about a week, as I wasn’t separating work life and home life at all. I set up a very tiny home office in a corner of our apartment, but that gives me the mental and physical separation I need to keep work time and leisure time separate.


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