by Leon Rosenshein

Take Time

One of the counterintuitive things about productivity is that you can be more productive overall by taking a break. And like everything else, this scales. Taking a short break during the day can clear out the cobwebs, let your mind process what’s floating around, and surface ideas that you were too busy to notice.

Similarly, holidays and vacations give you a slightly longer period to reset. There's more to life than work and, especially these days of WFH, having the time to not work is critical. Whether it's spending time with family, working on a hobby, having new experiences, or actually doing nothing (which is very different from not doing anything), it takes time to shift from work to something else. Personally I like cruises because of how disconnected from the rest of the world they are. One thing I've noticed is that it takes me 2+ days to actually get disconnected and start to get the benefits.

Then there's the sabbatical. 4 weeks for every 5 years of service. You can really do something with 4 continuous weeks. Everything from nothing (again) to starting something that's important to you. You could do a Feynman sabbatical in another field. Help out that NonProfit that needs your help. Whatever makes you happy.

I say this today because tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day in the US and Americans, particularly in the tech field, are notoriously bad at taking vacations and enjoying their holidays. Lots of reasons why and this isn't the place for them. But it is the place to remind folks that if tomorrow is a holiday for you, take it. And for the non-US folks, when your holidays come up take them.

I guarantee you the work will be there when you get back. And you'll be better equipped to do it.