More Freedom, Less Stress


I visited TechStars earlier this summer and heard Brad Feld talk on How to Raise Angel Funding. During the talk, his phones rings. It's his wife - he answers the call and casually talks to her for a few minutes before returning to his keynote.

"Always take your wife's calls. No matter what."

I've tried to emulate this advice and follow other helpful suggestions from Brad on work/life balance.

Feld's small steps for less stress:

  • Exercise five days a week for at least thirty minutes.
  • Turn off your computer at 8pm and don’t look at email until you wake up in the morning.
  • When you eat dinner – eat.  Don’t try to do something else (like email) at the same time.
  • Go to a movie and turn your cell phone off.
  • Go outside and play with your kids (or your dogs.)
  • Decide that you aren’t so important that the world can’t wait 24 hours for you – and give yourself a short break.

Brad Feld's examples on creating space for relationships:

  • Spend Time Away: A week long vacation each quarter (every 3 months) where you completely disappear.  No cell phone, no email, no computer, no conference calls.  Completely unavailable for the week.
  • Life Dinner*: A date on the first day of every month.  Occasionally invite friends.  Give each other a gift.  Spend the evening talking about the previous month and about the month to come.
  • Segment Space: Treat your house as a retreat from the world.   If you work from home, make sure your work area is separate and distinct from the rest of the house.
  • Be Present: In conversations, focus on that person and what is being said.  Don't let your mind/attention drift.
  • Meditate: Everyone should meditate their own way.  Do whatever you want, but spend some of your time on yourself.

*works well if you're not single