Going on Sabbatical: Time to Breathe, Think and Reflect

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Going on Sabbatical: Time to Breathe, Think and Reflect
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Stefan Sagmeister (Photo courtesy of TED Talks)


"I run a design studio in New York. Every seven years, I close it for one year to pursue some little experiments, things that are always difficult to accomplish during the regular working year. In that year, we are not available for any of our clients. We are totally closed. And as you can imagine, it is a lovely and very energetic time." --Stefan Sagmeister

There are times during the course of our life, when we have an experience that significantly alters our perspective on life.

At the beginning of 2015, I was browsing through the catalog of Ted Talks courtesy of my AppleTV, when I came across Stefan Sagmeisters' The Power of Time Off talk. Intrigued by the title of the talk, I read the summary description:

Every seven years, designer Stefan Sagmeister closes his New York studio for a yearlong sabbatical to rejuvenate and refresh their creative outlook. He explains the often overlooked value of time off and shows the innovative projects inspired by his time in Bali.


As a creative, I understand the power that can come with a change of scenery, a break from the business-as-usual day-to-day routine, an opportunity to have significant blocks of uninterrupted time available to dream, think, and create through the process of deep work.

I was familiar with what Sabbaticals were, thanks to my experience teaching at the local community college where my colleagues were college professors. The idea of a career professional or business owner going on Sabbatical was new to me. So too, was the concept of taking more than a few weeks off at a time, let alone an entire year.

I had no idea what I was about to come to understand, when I pressed the play button to begin Stefan's talk.

A year later, I'm offto Colombia, South America, marking the start of my first Summer Sabbatical. Based on my first week-long mini-sabbatical experience at the Fairmont Princess resort hotel in Scottsdale, AZ last summer, I know I am in for an amazing experience, one that will set the course of my life and career for the next few years.

If the idea of taking a Sabbatical break appeals to you, or you just want to learn more about the benefits of taking extended time off from the day-to-day routine, be sure to watch Stefan's talk.

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