Day 22: A Video about the Value of Time Off

Today I’d like to share with you a video Wil Upchurch (Thank you, Wil!) had sent me in an e-mail. This talk was given by Stefan Sagmeister and discusses the value of time off. Every seven years he takes a one-year sabbatical to refresh and rejuvenate his creativity.

I really enjoyed the video not only because it resonates with my social media experiment now, but because there’s a lot of truth to what he’s saying. Constant production — whether it be words or art or whatever — takes its toll. Add deadlines on top of that or some other kind of pressure (e.g. marketing, promotion, social media, other people, etc.) and the quality can (and will) suffer.

Sometimes it’s hard to recognize when that quality takes a dive. Sometimes it’s difficult to understand why or to catch it before it does. In a way, this video reminds me of a mantra I’ve once heard: Americans live to work; Europeans work to live. Here, Stefan shows how the work can be more fulfilling if you take time off to pursue personal projects. Powerful stuff, because he’s not advocating that you stop doing whatever it is you love, but to redirect your talent into a different direction to help your baseline grow.

In my case, I’ve removed social media because I perceived its effects on me. Have I learned anything from this? On that “deep” personal level? I’m starting to. The reason why I am didn’t come from me, though. That insight came from another author and I’ll be writing about that later this week.

Take a minute and check out this video of Stefan Sagmeister: The Power of Time Off at TED.



Monica Valentinelli is a writer, editor, and game developer. Her portfolio includes stories, games, comics, essays, and pop culture books.

In addition to her own worlds, she has worked on a number of different properties including Firefly, Vampire: the Masquerade, Shadowrun, Hunter: the Vigil, Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn, and Robert E. Howard’s Conan.

Looking for Monica’s books and games that are still in print? Visit Monica Valentinelli on Amazon’s Author Central or a bookstore and game store near you.

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