Do you remember when we didn’t have email or work following us around 24-7? Boy, those were the days! It seems these days we are lucky to have a break for a few hours much less a few days. Although not everyone gets spring break off (I’m sorry my hard working staff colleagues), most faculty do not have obligations during spring break. Many of us see spring break as a chance to catch up and get some writing done. I know because I used to do that. Hello, my name is Michael and I have a hard time taking a break from work. Yet, this year I’ve declared that I won’t be a slave to my office or my email on spring break. You’ll have to read to the end of the post to find out what I’m doing. That’s what they call in the business a tease…
I firmly believe it has never been harder to take a break from work. The faculty schedule is a double-edged sword. You have few required times that you have to work, but that also means work is free to intrude on any time.
We all need a break from work. This isn’t something that would be nice or something to do when we have the time. We need to make the time.
Without taking a break, our work suffers and we produce less. I don’t know about you, but working longer hours and producing less doesn’t sound like my idea of a good time.
I believe the reason to work on productivity is so we can be more productive in our working hours allowing us to enjoy guilt free time off.
In the past, I would have spent all spring break week in the office responding to emails, doing administrative work, and writing. I would get a great deal done, but a couple of weeks later my productivity would drop as I get tired from keeping up with the regular semester pace.
When thinking about time, quality over quantity rules the day. If I can get plenty of sleep, get away from work, and enjoy a quiet spring break, the quality of my productivity upon my return will more than make up for a few lost days in the office.
I encourage you to take a few days off. Play with your kids. Enjoy the outdoors. Or just get some spring cleaning done.
Whatever you do, stay away from work for at least a few days. Your future self will thank you!
And now for the reveal…. what am I doing to take my own advice? For spring break, my wife and I are heading to St. Lucia for a week away without the kids, email, or work. The picture above is what the view from our room will look like. I scheduled this post before I left as well as Thursday’s so you can still get your Higher Ed Professor fix. But right now, I’m enjoying a quiet, tech-free zone.
Not only will the week away be a nice vacation, but I believe it will help me be more productive for the rest of the semester than an extra week’s worth of work.