For most universities in the UK the long spring term is now over and we are into the holiday period. However, for many scholars, ‘holiday’ is a misnomer. These three weeks might herald a different way of working than in term time, but they will be periods of hard work nonetheless. So, how do you maintain a good work/life balance in this situation?
I am looking forward to the Easter break to have a rest because I won’t have to do my long commute into my university so often but I will still put in eight hour days in my office at home. Many academics struggle to convince family and friends that they will not be taking a three week holiday at this time of year!
Of course many of us have piles of marking to do, hardly a restful task for anybody! And apart from that, we’ve been looking forward to the end of teaching so that we can get on with our research or writing projects. Not only is this a very enjoyable part of the job for many, it is also essential for career development.
So where does that leave actual holiday? Time with family and friends? A breather after the long term? However career focused you are, it is important to allow yourself sometime to rest and recuperate or you will find term starting again in May and you have no energy at all. Dedicating a small number of days to spend time away from your desk is very important and will actually improve your performance overall. So however tempting it might be to throw yourself into research, give yourself a break over this Easter period. Your mental and physical health might depend on it!