Going on Vacation – is it THAT important?
As was written so elegantly at the Biodata blog, vacation is a routine that should be adopted by all professional, regardless of their theme of profession or their necessity to the company/society. Like every human-engineered device, if it won’t be lubricated and maintained, it’s gonna get broken. So are we, the hard working scientists, that every day deal with difficult decisions, meticulous and Sisyphean tasks, and of course, face constant disappointments and failures. Without this energy boost, this “going on vacation” thing, we will forget WHY are we doing all this hard work, and eventually, risking “loosing” it and burning ourselves to apathy.
Everybody’s got their concept what is a vacation: the Maldives islands, a wild African safari, a ride to the north of the country to see the bloom of the lilies and maybe just a cup of coffee on the balcony. While all this is fine, many times several issues will make you turn your back on your dream vacation, mainly, boss, time and money. While these can be formidable challenges, you should get that vacation that you deserve so much and you should rest whenever you desperately feel the need.
My point is while you have your ideal vacation, you have to serve yourself with a modest vacation dish that will supply you with the strengths and vigor to pass the difficult paths ahead. Don’t say “Ha, I don’t have the money/time/the coolest boss for my ideal vacation so I will wait for the right time.” Find the time to have a short break, even a single day. Yes, you will have to suffice with less and postpone your dream vacation, but you will earn the psyche to push forward.
But what if…
Boss/PI not approves – Some boss and PIs forget that they employee are people that needs to have their batteries charged. In case you are confronted with such a boss, explain him that the coming vacation is (a) short and that you didn’t had any vacation for a long time and that (b) you feel you will be better prepared to handle the difficulties and deadlines that lay ahead.
I don’t have the money – Set a goal that you take at least one modest vacation each six months (day or two no more) and set aside money for it each month. If you’re tight on budget, then take the day off to do something you like and won’t need a wallet full of cash to implement. Keep it simple and cheap! Even sitting at the beach for half a day can make a difference.
I don’t have time (deadlines, overload etc) – When you want something badly, you gonna find the time for it. Figure it out, prioritize or move other stuff aside, but find that time. Again, to charge up you may not need a full month trekking in Nepal, right?
Have you got to the point you felt you’re losing it? Want to share how you managed to pull yourself out of it?