Get Yourself a Hobby
I know for many of your that photography is your hobby and if that is what photography is to you, than that is great. For others who are trying to go from a hobby to a business, this is when you need some other distraction to keep yourself balanced. For some people it is video games, for others it may be scrapbooking, or maybe yours is knitting. It really doesn’t matter what it is but if all you do is eat, sleep, drink, and live photography, you will get burned out more often. I certainly know this from personal experience. I have the business, I have CameraDojo.com, I have the podcast/gocast, I talk at user groups and trade shows, if I don’t do something that is non-photography related, I get to a point where I just want to shut it off for a while.
The past few months I have wanted to get back into radio control helicopters (of course with the excuse of mounting cameras to them). I bought a small 450 sized helicopter and started practicing on a simulator (this is a required step in my opinion). The problem is, I can’t just run out to the backyard and fly it, it needs some good space devoid of people and I find it hard to make the time to head over to a safe place to fly it. I also have access to a monster sized heli I can use for aerial photography should the need arise, but it takes even more space and is quite expensive should an accident occur. So while I enjoy them, it really isn’t something I can just “go do” for an hour and then get back to work, so I was off in search of something else.
What I found was the Parrot AR Drone. The AR Drone is a quadricopter but what is really unique is that it is controlled over WiFi from an iOS or Android device instead of a traditional radio controller. This difference means you get FPV (first person view) as you fly it around as well as real-time telemetry such as altitude and battery level. Given my slight obsessive compulsive disorder, I went in search of all the information I could find to maximize my experience with it and, to my surprise, there was actually very little info about it other than some forums with some posts. So what am I to do with my background in developing websites, a great new gadget I am having a blast with, and a few evenings free over the holidays. Well, time to create a website about the AR Drone and within a few hours, AR Drone Tips was born.
Now I am not suggestion you all go find a new gadget and in a matter of days create the top fan site for it, but I am suggesting that you follow my lead a little and find a hobby that you can go do, go play, go enjoy, and use to turn off your day to day grind if for only 30 minutes a day or so. The trick is finding something that requires very little time to get going so if you decide I need a break right now that you can go do it, and when done, get it put away in just a few minutes. If you take on a hobby like painting, there is just too much time to do the prep and the cleanup. Not that painting is a bad hobby, its just not a good “I need a 20 minute break” hobby.
I find that something like flying the drone or working on the AR Drone Tips website is a quick little distraction that I can go do quickly and then when finished, just pop it on the shelf and throw the battery on a charger. Have a little fun in your day with some quick distraction and help keep yourself from burn-out.