5 Motivations To Take A Sabbatical

As the summer comes to a close, I am taking the last week of August as a sabbatical break.  Some of you might be throwing your hands up and shouting “Hallejuah” or “It took you long enough.”  I say all this because its true.  I have been pushing hard for about 18 months and it's time to rest.

I been doing quite a bit of reading over the past couple of months and each book I pick up discuss’ the need for a breather…a few moments to power down from our normal everyday and refocus.

Each year, Michael Hyatt takes a sabbatical.  Last year, he finished his upcoming book – The Life Plan Manifesto (not yet released).  This year he is somewhere nice for an entire month (lucky guy).  Well…it’s time I followed in these great leaders footsteps and take my own sabbatical.

Here are five motivations for taking a sabbatical:

  1. Rest – Our bodies were not made to push and push until we snap like a twig.  We need a chance to settle down from the grind of the everyday.
  1. Refreshment – When we push and push and push, our minds cannot recover and we lose the opportunity to be creative.  Refreshment allows us to refocus on our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual beings.  We are human beings not human doings.
  1. Reflection – A sabbatical can be a great time to reflect on the year.  We often put reflection on the back burner, but the truth is, we need reflection time.  If we don’t understand where we have been…we cannot plan for the future. Using a journal (paper or electronic) is a good way to collect your reflections.
  1. Preparation – Reflection naturally leads us towards the future.  Sabbaticals offer us a chance to block out distractions and plan for what comes next.  Our next big idea may come out of this scheduled time away from everything.
  1. Execution – Sabbaticals offer us a chance to execute the big plans we have been putting off.  Sometimes we can overplan and never execute the plan. Planning is great (and I am a planner), but sometimes I can be a really bad finisher.  Sabbaticals allow us to start and finish something, even if it is just relaxing.

Go First, Set the Example

I am a firm believer that our minds and bodies do need a chance to rest and recover or we lose the opportunity to do our best work.  For the past few days, I have been on sabbatical from work and will be until after the Labor Day holiday.  I received a wonderful gift of time away and decided it was time to practice what I preach…and rest.

During this time away, I will be sleeping in, reflecting, planning, writing, exercising and looking towards the new year.  I have some big things I want to accomplish in the next year and I need to lay the plan out so I can execute on it.

It may seem like I am still going to be busy, but the truth is…the distractions are gone and I can focus in on what lies ahead.  I know that getting away can be tough with all the commitments we have in place – work, family, school and life – but our own health and well-being is important as well.

For me, I have decided to take the opportunity to learn, grow, reflect, relax and prepare for the future.

Question: What is the toughest part about breaking away for a sabbatical?  You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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I help facilities manager and planner create spaces that are backed by research, engage employees of all generations, and drive business objectives. I am also the founder of Dave's Book Club – a once per month reading experience designed to help professionals grow their influence.

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