Thursday, September 26, 2013

Professor for one year (week 19 and 20): Vacations!

After 22 weeks of teaching in a row, exams, and grading those exams, I finally went on vacation.  Usually, I take with me a lot of work (on paper and electronically), that I didn't manage to process the weeks before.  The idea is that during the next two weeks with no obligations, I will find enough time to  finally get this done and then I can start with a clean desk when I return to my office.  Fortunately or onfortunately, most of this work involves looking up information online, asking people for feedback via e-mail, and sending back or submitting PDFs.

This year, I left everything related to work at home.  I really needed two weeks of not doing any scientific work, but just go swimming and biking and reading some of the volumes from my "to-read-shelf."  And there is one thing that really supported this decision:  We didn't have Internet connection in our vacation appartment.  And there was even no wireless connection via smartphone possible in the entire village.  Great!  My "out-of-office message" worked quite well, I wasn't able to read or answer e-mail message for two weeks.  And two weeks is probably a perfect duration for vacation from work and from the Internet:  A lot of requests to read this and decide that had taken care of themselves when I returned.

I really can recommend vacations from the Internet -- there is no sense in doing work-related things during vacation.  It's better to come back to a not so clean desk with a refreshed mind than coming back to a clean desk still feeling somewhat exhausted.

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