I find holidays annoying because flights are intolerable, and being always on the move is exhausting. But because it is jam-packed with touristy activities, holidays force me not to work and spend time with the family.

But I am not always "there." My body automatically shuts down during flights, and there exists downtime between activities. These downtime lets me catch up on the long-form article backlog that I have accrued in my Pocket app; to finish a book, but mostly -- to ruminate.


Hipsters like to be fancy. They gave the act of idling a word -- meditation. In my downtime, I let my mind wander. If I am not focused on performing grunt work (such as writing specs or participating in a conversation), my mind wanders.

My mind wanders to nowhere. I think this is good because when I am not thinking about anything, in particular, my mind occupies itself. In turn, it forms connections between concepts and ideas.

This is also the worst part of car ownership. Now that I drive, I get to places faster; and my mind is not able to idle.

The most important job for a CEO is thinking

Specifically, creative thinking. I cannot force creativity. Coffee hones my focus, so it reduces creativity. I need creative thinking because as a CEO, I have two responsibilities:

To keep the company growing

Growth comes in spurts. In between spurts, doing the average thing will lead to nothing but a flat line. So I have to get back to the drawing board and figure out what is the next driver of growth. It helps if I can map empathy for the users, with a business model that carries a fat profit margin, coupled with a fantastic story for the press to jump on.

Creative thought is needed for growth so I can continue churning out features that lead to the next milestone.

To keep the company alive

Sometimes, I have to work on disjointed projects so I can keep the company alive. If you are a solo founder, one will call it a side hustle. If you are a company like myself, it is a side project with a near term objective of making money. These are usually a less creative but necessary endeavor to keep the company alive.

To purge the negative energy

No, not the hipster meditation dharma-esque concept of purging negative energy.

But holidays, otherwise known as not-working, helps purge a year's worth of latent stress and brain clutter.

I find my head to be lighter now. Even my writing is a bit more somber, and I guess, emotionless. The way I like it.