3 thoughts on time off

Time off is a requirement

Taking time off from work is mandatory. Working continuously isn’t sustainable and the mental tool will often go unnoticed. Come back sharper, focused, and ready to build & create & delight with your work.

A number of companies are now mandating a minimum time off. Basecamp provides a 30-day sabbatical every 5 years, as does Meta. Creative agency Bondir shuts down for a week every quarter, and they all come back ready to dive into action.

I’d like to see more of this, and if you know of others doing the same please inform me.

Learned Behavior

Having been self-employed for the vast majority of my career I never even considered time-off. I would work long, hard days and put in the hours thinking that I would eventually lead to success (while this is true in some regards, I wasn’t aware of the consequences). Even big life events, such as my wedding and my children being born I was working right to the 11th hour.

I don’t recommend this anymore, but it’s hard to see when you work for yourself, or by yourself. (hence another reason why I love value pricing over hourly).

Previously, I was never able to relax. Nowadays, I love sitting and doing nothing. But this was something I only learned in the last few years.

I just got back from the desert where I sat by a pool for 3 days straight. Amazing. I read a book and played with my family and friends.

desert sunset and pool

Unlimited Time Off

When companies include unlimited time off as a perk or benefit they’re doing so because this sounds amazing- take all the time off you need!

However, this is likely not reality, as deadlines and everyone else’s schedules are shifting, so it’s more like take off the time at your own risk. This is unfortunate because it makes those on the lower end of the totem pole feel guilty for taking time off, especially if leadership says they’re “always on” or something along those lines.

For unlimited time off to work, it has to be top down. Leaders need to step away and turn off for periods of time- a full week is a good start.

This has another benefit, too. It will ensure everyone else is autonomous and makes decisions on their own. If you can’t get an answer from your boss or client, how would you proceed? When this becomes reality it makes everyone stronger.

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