I am on spring break this week. And spring break is something I take seriously. Prior to tenure, I worked during my break. I might have only worked half-days (likely a combination of full and half-days) but I did work. Spring break makes for great uninterrupted writing time. I don’t regret doing that. If you are an assistant professor, I encourage you to use your spring break to do whatever you need to do to get tenure. Take a little time for yourself too. But work.
But once I received tenure, I promised myself I would start taking my breaks, and I stand by that decision. Breaks are important. They allow us to take much needed time away from our work. However, I think you will find that breaks also allow us to sort out problems in our work. A tired, overworked mind is no good. But once I step away from what I am doing (and I am feeling a bit burned out at the moment), I often find that issues and questions I was working on suddenly have very obvious paths towards solving them. These ideas often come out of the blue and just present themselves to me.
It’s the break. It’s the time away from it all.
So when it comes to you, take it.