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Tomorrow is a sabbatical for the entire seanwes team.
We also had our eighth full-time team member just join us at seanwes! Kyle Adams is now Visual Identity Director at seanwes.
I’m really excited to have him join the team. He’s going to be heading up all of the visual identity as it pertains to seanwes. Things like featured images, the website, new illustrations and graphics, and things for the conference.
This is going to be Kyle’s first sabbatical. It’s always interesting having someone new join the team and see them experience their first sabbatical week off.
For those that don’t know, since 2014 I’ve been taking what I call Small Scale Sabbaticals.
I heard about this concept of people taking a sabbatical year, where every seventh year they take the entire year off either to rest, write, study, or travel.
Everyone takes a 7th day off every week and some people take a year off every 7th year, but there was nothing in between.
I thought, “Why don’t we have Small Scale Sabbaticals where every seven weeks we take the week off?” We work for six weeks and then we take that entire seventh week off.
This is what I’ve been doing since 2014 and not only have I been taking off those weeks personally, but I make my entire team take a seventh week off so that we all do it together.
Not only do I give my entire team every seventh week off, but I also pay them to do it.
Now, that might sound crazy, but to me, working none stop week after week after week with just a faint hope of taking two weeks of vacation at the end of the year is crazy.
More often than not you’ve got your two weeks of vacation, but things come up. There’s a family emergency, or you need to take a few days here or there, and suddenly you don’t have any vacation left at all.
You don’t have any rest time, no time to recoup, no time to relax! To me that sounds a lot more crazy.
We do better work when we’re rested and we’ve had time to recoup.
With as hard as we work at seanwes, I can’t imagine not taking every 7th week off.
It was really awkward in the beginning, but after your second or third sabbatical, you just learn to live that way.
The best way I explain it to people is: imagine if your week was Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and then that repeated all over again. No end in sight.
You’re just at the grind, working, slaving away, never getting time to rest, and never getting time to pursue secondary passions, travel, or work on projects.
Since I’ve done this, it’s been the best thing I’ve ever done for my career. I feel better and healthier.
I feel more rejuvenated and I’ve been able to do the best work I’ve ever done. The people on my team are able to do better work.
You Can’t Afford Not to Rest
In the beginning, it feels so strange taking off an entire week.
You have this mentality of thinking, “I can’t afford to take a sabbatical. I can’t afford to take time off,” and that’s totally how I thought.
During the second sabbatical week that I took off, I thought, “I can’t do this. There’s simply too much work to be done,” but there’s always too much work to be done!
Someone could call you on Friday and say, “I really need to meet,” and without thinking, you schedule a meeting for Monday, because of course you’re not going to meet them over the weekend.
That’s essentially what the Small Scale Sabbatical becomes—we take off a week every seventh week like clockwork, no matter what, and things like seanwes tv go on pause.
We know that our audience is going to understand that. It’s a struggle for a lot of people, because they’re thinking, “People won’t understand. They’re going to expect me to be available. They’re going to expect me to keep publishing,” but people will understand.
It’s like if you had a client project and someone came along and said, “I want you to work on my client project next week,” you’d say, “I’m not available. I’m working with an existing client with whom I want to give my best energy. I want to do a great job with this client, just like I want to do a great job with you and your project. To be able to do that, I need to give you my full focus and full energy, so we’re going to schedule your project for next month.” The sabbatical is much the same.
You have your sabbatical week and if anything else comes up, you schedule around it. You have to protect that time—that time is precious.
You need to be able to relax and recharge if you want to do your best work.
Now, you might be worried that some people will say, “I don’t want you to stop blogging. I don’t want you to stop posting videos.” For example, with seanwes tv, we’re not going to have videos for the next seven days, but you understand that we need that time to rest and recharge as a team.
In order to be able to continue providing the value we do to you, we have to take care of ourselves. See what I’ve done here? I’ve set expectations with you, my audience, so you know what’s coming.
You know why I’m doing this and you can get on board with the reasoning and the mission behind it.
We take off a week every seventh week and all of the output goes on pause, except for a couple of mini sabbatical episodes on the seanwes podcast that are scheduled out.
I record these in advance and it’s just a couple of little episodes to get you through the sabbatical while we’re on break, so check those out.
Of course, the fun never stops inside the Community! If you’ve been enjoying seanwes tv or any of the podcasts on the network, you can support us by joining.
That’s the best way to support the show because we don’t want to sell your attention to advertisers or sponsors. We don’t want to interrupt your viewing or listening experience.
We’re always in there. The whole team’s there; I’m in there during the sabbatical because that’s what I love to do anyway.
A lot of you have been taking your sabbaticals along with the seanwes team and I think that’s the coolest thing ever, so I hope you enjoy your time off.
Even if you’re not taking a sabbatical, I hope you can find a moment to take a break. Maybe it’s a long weekend or some extra days every few weeks or every few months.