This past year, 2011, my workplace decided to close our global organization down for 10 days total between Christmas and New Years for cost efficiencies (power, building maintenance, limited staff) and required us to use our discretionary time off (DTO). At first, I actually bummed, as normally that 1 week is really quiet with so many out of the office, so you can get caught up with a lot of work before the new year begins. I will say though, as the time came closer and closer to the break and during my time away, my thought process changed. Take a moment and imagine yourself taking off time from work for longer than a week, where all of your other co-workers have the time off too and will not be sending you e-mails, calling you or even missing meetings. This option provided all of us a way to all disconnect ourselves from work and enjoy spending time with our family & friends and making time for ourselves to relaxing at bit and recharge our batteries.
During my time off, I got to spend time with several of my family members and friends over coffee, dinner, movies, taking walking, and simply just talking to others. I also took time to reflect upon 2011 and thought about what I want to accomplish next in 2012 and in the next 5 years, such as:
- Where I what to be/go on a professional level
- Time allocated to spend time with family & friends
- Places to travel
- Activities/Hobbies I want to do for myself
- Classes I want to take
- Organizations I want to join/support
- Books I want to read
- Make time for me for my own physical & mental health
Of course, it is not my intention to come across as bragging about my time off at all, as not everyone got to experience a break like I was grateful for. My intention is to ask each of you to take a moment to reflect on yourself and found out what is important to you or what makes you happy and make time for it–DO IT! Take a few days off or week, even if everyone else is still working for you to recharge once in awhile. The last time I took that much time off work was back in high school, let alone taking a day or two off in the past years, so taking that time off allowed me to see what is important in life through a different lens. You only live life once, so live it to the fullest! I hope all of you had a fantastic holiday season!