I hope our last conversation about how to be seen as an expert can put you on the path to specialization. And with Labor Day weekend coming up in about a month, don’t just take a vacation … take a sabbatical!
And if you’re new here, welcome aboard. This is what we do!
A vacation is something you take, but likely still make yourself available via email and cell phone for clients. and office matters. Maybe even read your LinkedIn and other social media updates.
A sabbatical is a place you go, but with no connectivity to the Matrix that makes any of the above possible. Thus, likely causing heroin-like withdrawal symptoms at just the thought of being disconnected.
I took a one-week sabbatical during the 4th of July holiday week. I was in northern Wisconsin, just south of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The friends we stayed with told us, in advance, that their lake home was remote enough not to have any phone/internet service (they were correct), but near enough to the Snowmobile Hall of Fame (seriously) if we ran out of things to do.
The memory is still fresh in my mind, and I wanted to pass along what I did so you might consider a sabbatical for the soon-to-be-upon-us Labor Day week.
It was my first time unplugged in, like, ever. I purposely chose that week because of the July 4th holiday, which gave me 24-36 hours of time that I would have been offline anyway. And it was over my birthday and that gave me another 24 hours that I would have taken off. So I only had to occupy 132-144 hours that week. Still … holy crap, right?!
If you got this far and are unlikely to read to the end, I have two cut-to-the-chase questions:
- What would have to happen for you to be able to take a sabbatical?
- Do you find the idea compelling?
If you’re still reading, here is how I prepped for my sabbatical:
1 – Embraced the idea that it was even a possibility.
2 – Identified my timetable for taking off.
3 – Developed a plan to get my work done in advance.
4 – Notified my clients with work-in-process that I would not be available.
5 – Set up an email autoresponder and a new voice mail.
6 – Created a re-entry plan for when I got back.
Here’s what I did on each day of my sabbatical:
Rested, relaxed, read, recharged, and refocused on my relationship with Amy.
(There were some great meals, much drinking, and more than a few fireworks thrown in there as well.)
Surprise, surprise. The world kept turning even though I was not talking to clients or connecting to the internet! As Michael Hyatt wrote about the need for sabbaticals:
God made us human beings, not human doings. You would never know it, looking at modern man. So much of our life is defined by our activities.
In real life
I gave myself permission not to be productive for seven days.
I will do the same for you. Can you do it for you?
There’s still plenty of time to prepare for your Labor Day-based sabbatical.
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