Practical Ways to Rest #3

It’s great to see you all today! We’ve reached the third way in which we can pay back our energy debt. I think you’ll see from today’s topic that this will be the one that has the most potential to take us over the hump from energy debt into energy surplus.

As always, if you are new here (welcome!) or have missed any of the other posts in this series, you can catch up quickly with this handy dandy list!

Today, let’s talk about the idea of sabbaticals.


One of the best ways we can pay back the energy debt we owe is by taking a sabbatical. You’ve probably all heard the term but, simply put, a sabbatical is a period of leave. This is typically used in an academic context where a teacher will take a sabbatical every seventh year in order to write, travel, or study … something to further their career. It is an extended career absence.

Taking off a whole year would be an amazing way to get back on the right side of our own personal energy crisis. It’s probably the best way. If you are self-employed or your company already has a policy in place for something like this I would highly encourage you to take advantage of it.

The majority of us, however, cannot take off a whole year and (a) get paid for it or (b) expect our position at our jobs to still be around when we get back. So what do we do? The answer is mini-sabbaticals.

Seventh Week Sabbaticals

First, for anyone who controls their own work schedule or has influence into their schedule I recommend to you a Seventh Week Sabbatical.

The idea here is that you work for 6 weeks and take every seventh week off. Just make it a part of your calendar and work cycle. You still take holidays and weekends like normal, but every seventh week you rest.

Doing this means that during the course of a year you get 7 weeks off! That might seem like a lot in our society. Remember how the average person only gets 2 weeks of vacation every year? Take a second and think about how much more rested you would be if you did this. Think about how much better your 6 weeks of work would be if you were rested and ready for it before it even started.

I encourage you to really and truly think through how you could implement a seventh-week sabbatical. Do the hard work and figure out how to do the 7 weeks of work in 6 weeks so that you can take that seventh week off. I promise you’ll thank me later.

Weekend Sabbaticals

For anyone who doesn’t control their own work schedule (this is the majority of us who work for someone else) I want to throw out the idea of Weekend Sabbaticals.

Once a month (every 4 weeks) you would take the entire weekend (2 full days) off. That means that for an entire weekend there are no house chores, no honey-do lists, nothing - unless you want to do it and it’s restful for you.

We all have so much to do that doesn’t get done throughout the week so our only option is to tackle it all when we’re not “at work”. We blast through the weekend and before we know it we’re back at Monday again never having stopped for a second.

A “Weekend Sabbatical” gives us the opportunity, once a month, to stop and catch our breath before moving on. I’d recommend putting this at the end of the month right before the next one starts, but obviously, do what works best for your schedule.

You may be thinking, “That’s it? That’s all the time I get?” Just think about it. How much more rested will you be if you implemented this today? A whole weekend without the necessity to do anything except those things that you want to do? That would feel like a miracle occurred in your life. Over time, as you build these up, you will definitely see a difference in your energy levels.

Who’s in Control?

Everyone fits into one of two categories. Either you control your work schedule or you don’t. Either way, now is the time to schedule your sabbatical, whatever flavor it looks like. Open up your calendar right now, find the next time when you’re mini-sabbatical should be and put it on your calendar. Then set it to repeat.

Again, the idea for these come from Sean McCabe and his great sabbatical blog, but I’m a firm believer in them and I am working on figuring out a way to fit them into my own life. I would say that I’m probably becoming a “sabbatical evangelist,” if I’m being honest.

I already have a seventh week sabbatical on my calendar for the writing side of my life. Every seventh week I just take off from the obligation of writing anything. I still post here but that writing is usually done beforehand so that I don’t have an obligation to get it done.

Also, since I work a regular job, I am working on figuring out how to put weekend sabbaticals in place for my family and I. They aren’t as easy to schedule right this second because of prior obligations. Obligations are not restful, remember? But I’m getting it on the calendar. We actually just had our first one last weekend and it was glorious.

The Best Bang for Your Buck

As you can hopefully see, sabbaticals offer us the best chance to pay back the energy debt we owe and turn it into an energy surplus.

No matter which sabbatical is right for you and your situation, put it on your calendar today. You’ll figure out the “how” later. Right now you can commit to doing one of them (or both - depending on how deep that energy debt goes). Once you’ve committed, the “how” will figure itself out. This is where I’m at and I invite you along for the journey.

Editorial Note: There were only supposed to be 3 practical ways to rest that I was going to cover in this series. The more I thought about it, there really is at least 4 ways. So I decided to add a bonus way for you. Come back next week and find out about a way to rest that should probably come even before Sabbaths. See you then!