Ignoring the "Should Be Doings"
On How to Take a Guilt-Free Break
Research and writing are tasks that never feel done. There is always another article to write, another chapter to finish, or another project to work on. As I’ve written about before, there’s no formula for ensuring that your research productivity is “enough” to get the job or tenure, so we always feel like we should be doing more.
When you combine the feeling of "should be doing" with a gap between school terms, many of us are tempted to spend our time away from the grind catching up on writing work. To be clear, there is no right or wrong way to use this time, and some people have successful research careers that revolve primarily around writing during the summers and term breaks.
That being said, I'd like to advocate for some guilt-free rest and relaxation time built into our schedules for those of us about to enter the holiday season. Research shows that taking breaks, doing non-work-related activities, having slow workdays, and vacationing all benefit our overall productivity.
Many of us want to take a break but can’t shake the “should be doing” feeling. Here are a few pointers on how I avoid feeling guilty about not being productive during the holiday.