So you’re on Sabbatical. What now?

Now what to do once you’re finally on sabbatical. If you are like me, you probably have a laundry list of projects you wish you had more time to do. I chose to get in the habit of writing. I want to share my experiences as a designer and traveler with others and this is the perfect opportunity to do just that.

Start small

When deciding what to do with your time, I recommend starting small. You may have a larger vision for what you want to accomplish, and that is totally ok, but you should also be realistic. You may not finish a novel or start a new business in a couple months, but it doesn’t hurt to get started. Focus on what’s in front of you and start cranking it out.

Focus on changing your habits

Just because you don’t have to go into the office, doesn’t mean you aren’t on the clock. Organize your time wisely because it goes by fast. This is a great time to shed those bad habits. Unplug from the world and focus on what matters. The goal is to develop new habits which you can bring home.

Be good to yourself

Leave the all-nighters and ragers at home. This is your time. There are no more appearances to be made, no binge watching to be had. Instead, use your time to strengthen your mind and your body. Exercise regularly. Even without a gym membership you can watch videos online or go for a run. Take a break from Netflix and buy an e-reader. My kindle is the best purchase I made leading up to my sabbatical. Highly recommend picking one up if you don’t already have one.

Embrace your surroundings

Don’t be afraid to do things a little differently. Learn about the customs and traditions of where you are. They can be both inspiring and refreshing. You might also find that we are not that different in the end.

Record your experience

Give yourself the opportunity to look back at the time you spent away. Write as often as you can and take every opportunity to snap another picture or record a video. I’m hoping I’ll be able to look back and remind myself to stay focused despite all the noise of life back home.

Everyone goes on sabbatical for their own reasons and under different circumstances. You don’t need to go off into the woods and write the next great American novel to justify your time away. You can get rid of all the excess stuff and spend time with the things you love to do. The goal is to hopefully come back home with a new mindset and hopefully better habits that help you avoid burnout in the first place.