A few things hit home for me in the past week, involving work.
There is difference between the expectation of what we should be doing, and our capacity to do things. I tried to work on this last year, and failed (for a couple of reasons that I won't discuss here.) I need to set down again, and have people list everything they are trying to do, everything they think we should be doing, how long those things take, add up the hours, then decide what we are not going to try to do because there are not 80 work hours per person per week (we have half of the staff we had 12 years ago.)
Some projects pay more than they take in time, some take more time than they pay. A reality not understood by the accountants. In the end we need it to come close to a balance, but it is never going to be perfect.
If I am thinking about this as I am driving to the farmers market on Saturday morning, my work life balance is off.
I need time to think - to be creative. All work and no time to think, leads to the cycle of doing nothing new. We need time to think so we can go in search of the new cheese and find our way out of the maze.
It is easy to think we understand an issue, when we have finished our research. Then writing about it brings new insight. Then input from readers, gives new insight. Research is only half finished when the report is released or published. Yet the funding usually ends when the report is final. We need finish up funding for after the project ends.
Denial is not a river in Egypt. Staying around to fix things, when you are burned-out, won't fix things.
Many academic systems offer a sabbatical. Traditionally half a year or a year off with full pay every seven to ten years. It is time to do whatever the person wants or needs to do to recharge. Some teach elsewhere, or go deep into research, some go fishing, or walk the dog, or ride a bike across the continent. More employers need to recognize the value of this kind of a periodic period of refreshment. The cost is made up for by increased productivity. I did one self funded sabbatical 30 plus years ago, I took four months off from work and went to University full time for a semester - it gave me time to rethink where I was going with my life, and to end up where I am today.
I did a number of self-funded sabbaticals over the years, although I never knew I could call them that. I like it. I look forward, but not as much as you do I’m sure, to your Sunday thoughts that have nothing to do with work.ReplyDelete
You would look good in a Lambo,Delete
Everybody needs to break from work because it can be overwhelming at times. I try to do all the work I can in our busy times, and then when it's more even and steady, I cut down. That way I'm ready to go back when the work gets crazy.ReplyDelete
Too many months of crazy in a row this year.Delete
Retirement is the best sabbatical of all.ReplyDelete
I did the same thing many years ago and it ended up moving me into different profession entirely. One I like better and better suits me.ReplyDelete
Someone suggested I become a bourbon bartender.Delete
I was always jealous of folks who had work that allowed a sabbatical. It makes for great sense and health.ReplyDelete