How Do You Walk Away?

dsc06407-910x606I got some great advice the other day from a colleague. He had read one of my Stonemaier Games blog posts about the stresses of fulfillment, and he chimed in with his two cents:

“I NEED to walk away for a while. Maybe it’s an hour, maybe it’s a day or maybe it’s a week, but I have to stop what I’m doing and leave it behind.”

I have a really hard time walking away, even for a few minutes. Heck, I have a hard time even knowing when to walk away.

Yet this advice completely resonates with me. Or maybe it just comes at a good time, a time where I look back at the last month and realize that I should have taken more opportunities to walk away. My company, my relationship with my customers, and my emotional health would be have been the better for it.

So I turn to you, sage interneters (particularly my fellow entrepreneurs), to tell me how you walk away and how you know when to walk away. How do you realize that’s what you need, and how do you address that need?


8 Responses to “How Do You Walk Away?”

  1. Nik Stein says:

    I don’t know if you drink or not but there is something to be said for happy hour. Personally, when business or life starts to invade my personal life I enlist my wife and after the kids go to bed we have a night of drinking, talking, listening to music, playing games, etc. Just an organic night of F our world and enjoying ourselves. The next day sucks and I’m not as productive as I should be but my soul is recharged to deal with the world. May not be responsible but that was the problem.

  2. I think just organising real-life ‘commitments’ forces me to step away from the business.

    I have 3 gaming days/nights that are purely about testing. But I have 2-3 each week that are definitely not about ‘work’. (I might bring my own thing sometimes, but that’s relatively rare.)

    I also volunteer one night a week to help clean the local yoga studio. It’s actually quite nice and relaxing. I get free yoga lessons to use later, but even the cleaning itself, cycle over, and forced departure from the house are good.

    I don’t know how much that is ‘stepping away’, but certainly I found that when I first started my own business, I was spending too much time (some of it fruitless) until I started making regular ‘commitments’. Now, I try to have something organised for every evening.

    Monday night is work, but most of the others will be for pleasure. I can cancel if things get really crazy – last night I just had an early night (slept 12 hours) rather than go out to the usual gaming night. But having a couple – like the cleaning – that I can’t easily cancel is very good for me, I think.

    • Elizabeth Hargrave says:

      Like Bedroom I’ve found I have to schedule it in. My husband and I run our own businesses and do a lot of meeting with clients on weekends. We have created a standing date to go hiking on Wednesday mornings, no digital communication allowed. It’s great to recharge midweek and makes up for some of that lost weekend time.

  3. Eugen Bacic says:

    Whenever I get in that near burnt out state I either take a week for myself and read something unrelated to work while relaxing at home; though people can still reach me. Or, if I don’t want anyone to get hold of me the only thing that has worked is disappearing to my favourite place; in my case it’s Hawaii. There I have no work stress. I focus on each day based on my energy level. It allows for everything from lounging by a pool to swimming in the ocean to hiking the mountains. And I’m unavailable courtesy of the time difference and the fact I tell everyone the only time I should get called is for an emergency. That works better when people know you’re physically away from home.

    I have friends who use their cottage or fishing for that purpose. But I hate both and so I can’t do those. But perhaps that’s what’ll work for you.

    I was an entrepreneur for decades though now I’m a senior architect at a high tech firm as I waddle toward retirement. But the same technique works for me still. I just wish I could afford to go to Hawaii regularly but when I do it does me a world of good. My wife has confirmed that it does a world of good and enjoys partaking in my escape. 🙂

    Good luck finding your tranquil space that lets you truly get away from it all

  4. Jamey Stegmaier says:

    I’m heading out of town to Gen Con (not stress relief, but a change of pace), but I wanted to say that I really appreciate you all sharing your perspectives! This is very helpful for me.

  5. Jamey, I think you don’t have to guess when you need it! I believe that this kind of “walking away” is necessary for a regular basis. Maybe try one day per month to go somewhere alone just to quieten and relax? Leave your phone at home and see how that works for you.

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