Five reasons to take a sabbatical (DW#724)

We have been talking about the importance of taking time off for rest and relaxation as a part of our self care practice. Today let’s discuss another kind of time off which has a different but equally valuable purpose.


I am talking about a sabbatical. A sabbatical is an extended period of leave from your regular job or employment, the purpose of which is often travel, self growth or learning. While it is common in academia for professors to take a sabbatical in order to focus on their own learning, it is a concept which is gaining more acceptance even in the corporate world.


Here are 6 ways you can use a sabbatical from work:

1)   Learn a new skill or explore a new subject. If you have always wished you could deepen your expertise in your field, learn something new, or you are curious about a particular subject, a sabbatical is the perfect time to do this.
2)   Do some long range thinking. When we are in the midst of work, there is little opportunity to look at the big picture because we are so often caught up in busy work. Stepping aside from daily work responsibilities gives us the breathing room to get clarity on our priorities and goals and to consider if what we are doing currently is in line with our long term vision for our lives.
3)   Focus on just one new work related project. If your normal work day is so busy that you cannot work on a project that would take your organization or business to the next level, it may be very valuable to take a part-sabbatical, where you focus on just one project for a set amount of time.
4)   Write or create. Do you feel that there is a book or an art project inside of you that is waiting to be released? Using focused time away to get this book or art piece out of your head and into the world is a great use of a sabbatical.
5)   Contribute to a worthy cause. Ever wish that you could go off to help refugees in another country or help build homes for earthquake victims? Using a sabbatical to do volunteer work and contribute to a worthy cause is a deeply rewarding way to use your time and it helps bring back balance to our lives.
6)   Travel. Not the "sitting on the beach" type of vacation but rather the "immerse yourself in the culture for a while" kind of travel is another way to use your sabbatical.  

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