I LOVE video games! Love them. I’ve been playing them since I was 6 or 8, I think… and I’m still playing them nearly 30 years later.
When the game Destiny was released a few months ago? Picked it up on release day and played WWWAAAAAaaaayyy too much of it. Call Of Duty, Advanced Warfare? Same.
Sometimes felt guilty about how much I played. Sure, I’m all for relaxing and taking a break to recharge. But maybe I was playing too much? I mean, I was still getting the important things done… so… I don’t know.
But then, recently, my friend Matt Kremer got on twitter and started ranting and raving about how it’s not ok to feel guilty about taking time to relax… and he specifically mentioned video games… and I just had to reach out and ask him to write to you, here on my list, to let you know…
So here here is – Matt Kremer, a normal guy who enjoys business, marketing and programming. He has sweet blog at MattKremer.com and a podcast where he interviews budding and successful programmers gone entrepreneur. His side-project, Kobra.io, is a real-time collaborative code editor with built in video & voice chat.
[From Matt, to you]
I was going to send out an email to my followers with something along the lines of: “I’ve got something to admit to you guys,” “I feel bad about it, but…” or “I apologize that you haven’t heard from me in a while.” And then I stepped back and took a good hard look at myself.
And this is what I saw:
The truth of the matter is I haven’t worked on my side-project in a month. In fact, I spent a good hour trying to draw that awesome picture instead of working on my side project. I’m pretty confident I’m almost as good as Derick.
So here’s the real deal: I’ve got a full-time job, a wife, a 10 month old son, a blog, a podcast and a side-project with paying customers.
Normally you hear from “internetprenuers” when they are in “always on mode.” You know what I’m talking about. It’s that beastmode where they are writing blog posts every single day, launching new features for their app, marketing the bejesus out of their products and talking about how if you just work harder and do what they do you can be a bazillionaire. A bazillionaire I tell you!
That’s an absolute load of crap.
I’ll tell you what I’ve spent the past 30 days doing: playing video games, spending time with my kid and drinking beers with my wife while we watch Netflix. And I feel like I should feel bad about that. But the truth of the matter is, I just dont. And neither should you.
Above anything else, your mental health is the most important thing you can work on right now. Your mental health is above that next dollar, that next feature, that next marketing push.
Since I’ve been playing a lot of video games, I’m going to put a little bit of video game metaphor in here for you, cool? Cool.
You, as a human being, only have 100 magic points (MP). It costs 50MP to build a new product, 25MP to launch it, 10MP to manage bugs, etc. Before you know it, you only have 5MP left. You may not be “burnt out” but you are at least tired.
Most of those internetprenuers you follow, they’re going to tell you to push through it. “Keep going! You could be the next big thing!”
Not me, I’m an advocate of one remedy: relaxation. That new video game that just came out? Go buy it, then beat it, then “100% it.” I found my old PSP-1000 in a drawer, dusted it off and picked up a copy of Madden ‘12. Because let’s be real, I want to watch Netflix AND play video games AT THE SAME TIME. That’s what heaven is, right?
But there is something really strange about this remedy. After you’ve beat that video game, all of the sudden you’re back up to 100MP. You’ve found a magic potion! A FRIGGIN’ MAGIC POTION. Your drive or “work ethic” will come back full force, and you’ll be able to get even more awesome magic stuff done.
So if you’re tired, if you just don’t feel like working today (or for a month), I’m prescribing you one treatment: relaxation. Take a vacation, play some video games, spend some time with your kid, have a romantic dinner, watch Netflix, drink some beers or whiskey. I’m not holding you up to any standards of grandeur, and you shouldn’t hold yourself to one either.
I hope you enjoy Matt’s story and admonition of why it’s not ok to feel guilty about taking a break. It certainly helped me get rid of the “I hope no one finds out” kind of sneaking around that I’ve been doing recently. And it’s also nice to know that I’m not the only one who does this, too!
So relax. Take a break. It’s ok. I promise.
P.S. If you enjoy Matt’s writing as much as I do, and you’re not yet ready to take a break, we’ve got something special for you. Matt recently wrote an eBook on Building Software Products in a Weekend. I read it, and I was blown away! Matt has managed to reduced dozens of books that I have previously read, and experiences that I have had, in to a tremendously valuable book on starting a project or side project – and he’s making this treasure trove available to you at no charge! Just head over to MattKremer.com/dericksfans and get your copy. It is well worth it.