Summer’s Here – What if You Took a Break?

What are your plans for the summer? Are you teaching a summer course? How much research and writing do you hope to get done? How do you plan to recharge after another academic year?

If you’re anything like I was, you had a list an arm-long of projects to write up or revise, courses to plan, new IRBs to write, work-related books to read, etc.

And if you are also like me, you totally over-estimated what you could actually accomplish and start panicking in August that you didn’t get nearly as much done as you wanted to.

But my challenge to you is to TAKE A BREAK – a weekend, a week, a month, whatever you can. What happens if you don’t get get three articles out? If you leave the course planning until August? If you just take the entire month of June or July off to live rather than think about work?

Five years ago, I would have laughed in my own face if I’d asked myself those questions and responded with a long litany of “must-dos and should-dos). But in the last year, I’ve really come to understand the importance of rest – real rest. The work doesn’t go away, but taking care of ourselves ensures we can do that work…just later.

Can you take a break?

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I am a faculty teaching and learning specialist in the Center for Teaching and Learning at Georgia Tech and have 17 years of experience teaching professional writing and rhetoric to undergraduates. From a faculty development lens, I care about helping faculty create vital careers through meaningful productivity, powerful teaching, and life-long curiosity. My book, Agile Faculty: Practical Strategies for Managing Research, Service, and Teaching (2017), is available from the University of Chicago Press, and my co-edited collection, Redesigning Liberal Education, will be available from Johns Hopkins University Press July 2020. @RPR_Agile on Twitter

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