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How I’m Spending my Thanksgiving Weekend

TL;DR: I’ve spent my Thanksgiving working and I’ve gotten a lot done. It’s been quite enjoyable.

This past Thanksgiving weekend, I opted to stay here in Austin and pass on all the family festivities. Mainly because I forgot to plan ahead and flights were really expensive, but I’ve actually been looking forward to cranking out some work.

Sure, it sucks to miss Thanksgiving dinner with the family. And the inevitable high school reunions are usually pretty fun. But I’m neither sentimental nor nostalgic – would rather visit family on another weekend when traveling isn’t a such a pain.

This “4 day weekend” has been incredible, and I’m only 2 days in writing this. I’ve gotten more done than I could imagine. I’ve been able to access creative juices I normally can’t with the everyday stress of the office. Additionally, I’ve enjoyed the work I’ve been doing much more than usual.

There’s really something special about being able to work with no distraction. It’s the lack of anticipating the next Slack message or email. It’s the lack of people in town to hit me up wanting to go out. It’s being able to work until 4:00am then sleep until noon – then doing it all over again – and not having to worry about making morning standup. It’s taking my dog for a walk down the normally hustling and bustling street I live on, and it being dead.

It’s just me with my laptop and dog, and nothing but uninterrupted time to focus on projects I find interesting.

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David Cohen wrote a post about “taking a day with zero overhead”.  And I do that sometimes, but I’ve never quite felt this level of focus and fulfillment as I have this past holiday weekend.

Taking off-the-grid retreats to relax and get away from work is common.  I’d like to experiment with off-the-grid retreats (or at least days where I turn off Slack, email, and phone) to get work done. Will keep you posted on how it works out.