Are you taking a real holiday? A poll.



On any given day, we don’t have to work as much as we usually do. A lot needs to be done, but a lot of this is set to a schedule that we prescribe for ourselves. For example, in a few weeks I have a grant deadline. But I don’t have to work on it today. I didn’t need to work on it yesterday, and I don’t need to work on it tomorrow. Because I’m taking vacation.

I am checking email a few times per day in case some huge problem emerges. And I’m sending a couple last-minute rec letters out.  And I’m not neglecting editorial duties for those who managed to get their manuscripts and revisions out before they went on their own holidays. But otherwise, I’m on vacation.

I’m writing this post, well, because this site isn’t my job.

How are you at not working over the break? Are we collectively responsible at taking a refresher at once in a while, or are we all workaholics?

6 thoughts on “Are you taking a real holiday? A poll.

  1. Would be interesting to see how this compares across grad students, post-docs, untenured profs, and tenured profs.

  2. Tenured prof here. Enjoying my family. My email message has said that I am not responding to grade-related inquiries until Jan. 2, since Dec 21st. I completed my last review and last time-sensitive research effort on Dec. 23rd. So, I estimate I took a solid 6 days work-free to enjoy my kids, their Mom, their new toys at our new house. It’s been pretty nice. You can’t go 15 years without a ‘real vacation,’ get tenure, and not do this once in awhile..I have a metric ****-ton of stuff to do when I get back, as we all do, but if this plan works, I will still have a marriage and a family when I do. Happy New Year, y’all.

  3. Tenured Department Chair here. Unfortunately, I am running three faculty searches so am working more than normal over this holiday. But i will be going to see family and friends in early January and will be taking time with my partner for about four days somewhere where there is no internet, phone, etc. It is always good to take a little time off, both extended breaks and also some daily relief (I try to bike ride every day).

  4. I agree. Though there would be a lurking variable in family structure. I’ll leave it to others to model which might be causal. I think I’d be working more if it weren’t for family, kids, nieces/nephews and all, and I think that’s more tied to my age than my career stage.

  5. Does working flat out to being just flat out with a bug count as holiday? This is a common occurrence amongst academics/teachers. I probably work every day but then “work” for me isn’t the same as work for most other people. If I worked in a factory/shop I’d take the whole 2 weeks off if I could.

  6. Work IS vacation for me! Seriously, getting to do some research with no meetings, deadlines, etc., is bliss. Of course I don’t work all day on my “days off”, but a good 3 hrs is normal for me.

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