I recently took some long service leave (for readers outside of Australia/NZ, this is a leave entitlement granted after extended service with the same employer), including a few months away from the Happy Academic. This break and time away from the office was a great reminder of the importance of white space.
It’s easy when caught up in the pace of academic life to neglect to take downtime, yet occasionally unplugging from the pressures of work and focusing on recharging is like gold not only for your health and sanity but also for your working life. As described here, many brilliant discoveries and creations in science and other fields came about during periods of rest and relaxation.
“Almost anything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes – including you” (Anne Lamott, American writer & political activist)
It seems some of the biggest commercial companies have recognised the value of leave: Netflix and Virgin for example offer unlimited holidays to employees, allowing them to take off as much time as they want.