Vacation Strategy

The Future Doctor Hall asked me last night how to plan for working on Christmas break. Great question. I have a few strategies for vacation, indeed:

  1. Block out some “real” vacation days in advance where you will not even try to work. If you’re traveling for a week or less, block out the whole trip.
  2. Think of some more exciting work to do–for example, reading an enticing book that’s not top priority. It can help you feel productive, but also warm you up for bigger vacation goals.
  3. Plan to work less hours per day. I would suggest trying to work 2-3 hours, and then saying, “who-hoo! I’m done!” and enjoying vacation-type activities the rest of the day.

I think working over vacation is much harder if you’ve been in classes–or finished up some big project for the end of the semester. If you are writing your dissertation, you may not notice as huge a transition (or as huge a need for relief) at the end of the semester. But you’d be a very self-punishing future doctor indeed if you didn’t take advantage of a five-week break.


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