Vacation as the Fifth Season

Here is a fact: most university staff are workaholics.  First, it may seem that this term means almost the same as the term “hard worker”. However, the latter is positive, whereas the former means a condition that is almost a psychological disorder. It refers to the state of mind when a person is so into his or her work process that he or she forgets about its meaning. It is easy to come up with a diagnosis for yourself. Psychologists say that if you find at least one of the following characteristics in your personality, then you are a workaholic. So, let us see:

-          Every topic you discuss with other people is somehow connected with work. Those who cannot support these conversations become uninteresting for you. Even if those people are relatives or friends.

-          You find your colleagues’ requests to talk about work only on company time strange and anti-corporate. You find it irritating that they are not as fully committed as you are (we are talking about your 150% commitment).

-          You are always in touch. Even when you are at a meeting or participating in business negotiations, you keep tracking your messengers on mute. Discussing your work issues right before your plane takes off or at your kid’s graduation is a regular situation for you.

-          Weekends and holidays are wasted for you if they have not been spent at your computer desk. There is always so much to do: to start or finish another paper, to check students’ works, to make a power point presentation, and so on and on.

What are the risks that workaholics might face? Their brains do not turn off even for a minute. They are always in the mode of calculating and evaluating something. They even have “professional” dreams. Eventually, they run out of their inner resources. Their body fails to keep going. They have problems with their immune system and heart. At this point, a vacation is literally a doctor’s order. The main point is to avoid turning the fifth season into another season of hard work and new professional records. It is so tempting to spend this time dealing with unfinished business.

If we look at that from the point of effectiveness, we will see that rest is vital. Especially if you leave the city. Routine that surrounds you at home and at work stops you from reaching the creative level you need to succeed. To do that you need to clean your brain and get some fresh resources. That is why it is difficult to overestimate the role of free time. Changing environment and activity leads to generating new ideas and strategies.

My dear colleagues! Have a great and unforgettable vacation time!

Switch off your thoughts and turn into “slow professors” in times of “fast knowledge”. Vacation is about letting everyday worries go. Resting means breathing, taking your time, and meditating. Where there is no rest, there is no moving forward and no breaking troughs. And we have so many of those ahead!


Sincerely yours, Eduard Galazhinskiy