What is a #radicalsabbatical?

 Even Storm Troopers need some me-time. 

Even Storm Troopers need some me-time. 

This is for the burnt-out-at-work folk. I don't mean you restless folks who are merely excited about vacay. I'm talking about, you've adopted the phrase "Just get through it" for the day, week, quarter, and you're not 100% sure how it started to take over your existence.

Have you seen Stefan Sagmeister's TED talk on the importance of taking a sabbatical? If not, I recommend you watch it now. He's a master of creativity and turning an idea on its ear. The idea he presents is primo, sticky brain taffy for anyone wanting to re-fresh and re-frame how you think of productivity and creativity in your job.

First: find some energy

"Sabbatical" is a serious-sounding word. Professors take year-long sabbaticals to think and work through ideas for entire books. Sagmeister uses this word but I don't want you to get mired in its typical uses in far-away disciplines, okay?

I took a "Radical Sabbatical" after I quit my curatorial career. It was 6 months of taking the descicated, exhausted, shell of myself and slowly, steadily pouring the life back into my bones. I walked around my city. I met people who clearly loved their careers.

Prior, I had had some ideas of what I really wanted to do, sure. Was I in any position to put those into play, even write 3-sentence emails to people requesting informational interviews? Hell no.

Forget the roaring river of energy you need to "pursue your dreams"! You need a steady trickle to even start thinking beyond the job you do now. Good brainstorming takes energy. Strategizing? Even more.

Depending on where you're at, you might not have enough energy even to think.

Then: design a #radicalsabbatical

This is where the #radicalsabbatical comes in. The holidays are coming up; hopefully you have 1.5-2 weeks off for vacation. It is, in fact, a short sabbatical from work. How to make it radical: design some activities and focused reflection around 2 simple questions:

  1. Is it time to take a step?
  2. What is 1 small step in the right direction?