Too short to be a sabbatical, but not a vacation

 

May Newsletter

Have you ever taken some time off with the goal of not going anywhere? That’s exactly my plan starting next Monday. So, what’s the story?

I’m turning 40 this month and I thought to myself, “It’s time to do something I’ve always wanted to do but never gotten around to doing.” The only problem with that line of thinking is I’m pretty good crossing things off my ‘wish list’. From watching a football game in the Maracanã Stadium to visiting a chocolate factory, my wish list looks like the ‘To Do’ list of David Allen (author of ‘Getting Things Done’) at the end of his week.

Then the idea struck. What I’ve not done in seven years is to put work on ‘pause’ and give myself some thinking time. So the plan is to give myself a break from the usual pace of things. I was calling it a sabbatical until recently, but Wikipedia defines sabbatical as “…lasting from two months to a year.” My three weeks doesn’t qualify.

At first I thought I would not have any structure for this time, but after watching Stefan Sagmeister’s TED talk, The Power of Time Off, I decided to define some objectives. My top three are:

  • Try something new everyday, something I would not be able to usually do
  • Re-connect with old friends, and not over Facebook
  • Deeply appreciate the ordinary, from a good-morning hug to family dinners

Without the support of the team at the UPEACE Center for Executive Education this time-off would be very difficult to envision. So unlike Sagmeister’s design firm, the UPEACE Centre will not close down for the rest of May. On the contrary we are excited to be announcing two new online courses starting May 15:

You won’t be seeing me delivering webinars for these courses, but don’t be surprised if you see me as a participant (I know someone who offered me a partial scholarship).

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