How to Take a Sabbatical & Batching Time


This is the final post on a four-part series {part one, two, three} on extended travel &, more importantly, my big ah-hah ideas about batching, sabbaticals & seasons. It's all in response to Qs I get about my 2 months in London/2 months in Brooklyn schedule as of late. Here's the backstory:

This winter I’d been running Dean Street Society for 16 months & I was burnt out. Not that my passion was waning or the joy I get from what I do. But for almost a year & a half I'd been sprinting a marathon & my body simply couldn’t keep the pace any longer. So I decided that what I needed to do in 2013 was batch my time.

Batching is the opposite of multi-tasking. So instead of my day looking like this:


My week in a gloriously dreamy perfect world would look like this:


And most importantly, my months or seasons would look like this:

November/December in London was a season of playing & people: Social life, new friends, shows, museums & holidays!

January/February in Brooklyn was about work: Clients, conferences, photo shoots, video shoots, meetings & sprinting to make it all happen!

March/April trip in London was about quiet work & rest: Writing, creating, teaching, organizing, bike rides, reading novels, yoga!

There's a verse in the Bible that says: “There is a time for everything, & a season for every activity under the heavens”. A time to explore & a time to hibernate; a time to say yes & a time to say no; a time to be inspired & a time to create; a time to play & a time to work. Though I'm far from perfect at it, embracing this idea has been my first glimpse of sanity since I started my business.

What's travel got to do with it?

For me it's taken being physically away to say "I'm choosing fun", "I'm choosing work", "I'm choosing rest". I needed the accountability of, "You can't go to the Valentino exhibit once you get on the plane ..." "You have to get these filming dates in before you get on the plane ..." "You want to make the most of that unlimited monthly pass at yoga ..."

What's guilt got to do with it?

Seasons, make me feel less guilty for both working & playing. I didn't feel guilty doing fun holiday activites for awhile. Nor beat myself up for working so hard in preparation for the next season of rest. I don't feel guilty turning down social invites when I've annouced to the world that I'm away on a writing holiday. Nor that I choose time with friends over work as soon as I get home to Brooklyn.

Even if you can’t physically take time away as I’ve been blessed to do, you can implement this by designating a month or two months as a season to say yes to one thing & no to another. And even if you don't have a business to annouce it to, annouce it to your best friend, your mother, your beau. If you don't have a plane to board, then just get everybody around you on board.

This can’t happen overnight & it won’t look for everyone like hiding out in England for a month or two. But thus far it’s the closest thing I’ve found to an answer about balance, & the closest I've gotten to consistent rest, so I’m sharing in hopes that it might spark an idea that’s just right for you.

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P.S. Have you ever taken a “sabbatical” away from something? What comes to mind of for you that you wish you could say yes or no to in May & June to make space? Commit to taking action & share it with us in the comments below, even if it's just the beginning of an idea ...

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