Here’s What “Holiday” Really Means (And Why You Really Need a Wife)

I’m pretty sure that about a massive amount of game producers never take holidays. They might have an unpaid period of time when they are somewhere else than in the work office, but are they on holiday? Hell no.

Their body might be elsewhere, but their mind is still solving the puzzles on the work place. These people can’t help but think of something in their work almost every single day. I’m not saying that this is necessarily a totally bad thing (or that it makes them a bad people). I think that it can be pretty hard to take your mind off from work (people who meditate and do zen stuff are probably an exception), but it’s certainly something that we all should practice. I’ve kept Sundays off-computer days for couple of years now (or something) and this has really motivated me to do stuff on the computer on other days. I think same goes with occasional holidays.

I believe that you gotta arrange your vacation so that you don’t need to think about work. This means that a person who has trouble keeping their mind off from work related issues needs check the following rules (these aren’t guidelines, these are rules you know):

  • No conferences (pretty obvious)
  • No going to office (stay away from there, give the office give to your wife)
  • No phone (give it to your wife to hide)
  • No computer (give your computer to your wife to hide)
  • No faxes (at this point you probably know that your wife really needs to be a good at hiding things)
  • No email (if you’ve done everything so far, this should be taken care of already)
  • No production/business/design books (read only fiction or something relaxing)

(As you can see, having a wife is a good way to arrange these.)

This list might sound harsh, but if somebody really wants to take a holiday and want to take their mind off from work, they really need to arrange their life so that they don’t see work nor hear anything about work.

I’m not sure if this is practical or recommended for everybody all the time, but I do think this type of stuff is mandatory to everybody for some time. I’ve arranged so that I’ll be staying out-of-town next week. No computer. No phone. No email (I’ll do an exception on that business book – I’ll read some relaxing business books), nothing that reminds me about anything else than holidays.

I’ll admit that I’ll probably draw some game and business related stuff on paper on some days, but I try to keep that at minimum and at least for few days I’ll be totally on holidays.

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. @Lumooja: could be… well, of course I use them to pay bank bills – but still I spend so much time on computer every day of every year that it’s good to take some break.

    Jake: I like staying in home ;)

    @phu: Auch. Read zen stuff. Warmly recommended…

  2. I’ve been noticing this without noticing it for a while now… despite not working, I can’t seem to get away from work as far as my brain is concerned (though I’m a programmer/sysadmin, not a game producer).

    It ends in very unsatisfying ‘vacations.’ Terrible waste.

  3. How about just going away somewhere instead? And don’t take an iphone or laptop. If I was having a holiday at home, I wouldn’t want to exclude my computer, I’d play games on it and surf the net, stuff that I don’t get to do that much of most of the time.

    I think it takes more than a week to truly relax. Two weeks is a good time period for a holiday.

  4. I see computers more like spectacles – you can use them at work or at home, and on holidays too. They just make your life easier no matter what you do. The phone is similar to that. Emails also, since you normally have only one e-mail for everything.

    Sometimes you may want to travel to some sunny country on holidays, but of course not every year, or even every second year, but then you still take your spectacles and phone with you, but not the computer. And you take also a video camera. On the phone you can still check your favorite internet sites, and write down some ideas for your projects.

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