Is a one day sabbatical long enough?

gone on sabbatical

Yesterday was the 700th daily post in a row on this site, so today I’m taking a sabbatical.

Today is a glorious late summer Sunday, so though I’m keeping the daily posting going with this, in effect I took the day off to relax outdoors.

Ok, ok, clearly a one day sabbatical is not a break, but how long is long enough to take a break?

The first management book I ever read was Moments of Truth by Jan Carlzon, who, back in the 80s, made it mandatory for everyone at SAS (the airline he ran) to take at least one three week vacation every year. One reason for this was partly to ensure they delegated (the idea being that you couldn’t just put things down and pick them back up again if you took a three week break), the other part is that on a three week break, it can take a week to relax, a week thinking about going back to work, so a three week break allows a full week of pure relaxation in the middle!

So, that is simply holidays, but what about a sabbatical? I’ve heard people say they are taking a six-week sabbatical. That intuitively doesn’t sound anywhere near enough for me. On the other end, my gut says that anything more than a year is really a career change moment. Perhaps a sabbatical to recharge and then go back to current role or career is somewhere in the 3-9 month range?


Also published on Medium.