Here are a few questions that you should ask yourself. Be honest with yourself. Evaluate your answers. And once you’ve made a decision…stick with it.

Before we start, let’s be grateful that we are even in a position to contemplate voluntary breaks from work. According to these reports, involuntary unemployment in the country is now inching towards the double-digits

Why do I want to take a break?

Be honest with yourself and write down all your reasons for wanting to take a break. Now try and bring the number of reasons down to 3 or lesser. Here are my reasons:

  • I needed a break from the corporate machinery. That cycle of 9-to-5, with weekends to binge and days of echo-chamber existence.  
  • I decided to challenge myself to do the things that I always said I would do but didn’t. Especially on placing bets on the advocacy of Sustainability

Can I afford to take a break?

As long as your financial obligations are lesser than your savings, I’d say you are good to go!

Money, unfortunately or fortunately, makes the world go round. Figure out all your mortgages, your monthly fixed expenses as well as your basic living expenses. Contrary to popular wisdom, I have to tell you that sometimes there is never “enough” money in your bank account to take a break.

What do I plan to do during the break?

Even if you don’t have the minute details, you need to have a sense of your broad goals.

It’s also alright if you plan to do NOTHING. The point is that you had a plan. This was what you wanted to do.

Take this blog, for instance, am launching it THREE months after my break started, but somewhere early on I had an idea this would happen.

What about after the break?

You should also evaluate what you would be doing once the break from work gets over. There’s not much to lose sleep over, it has to be one of these two scenarios or you are setting yourself up for much self-beating.

  • You could have skills and experience that you are confident will allow you to pick up where you left off- or close enough.
  • You could discover new things/skills during your break period that you would want to explore further

How will the world around me see the break from work? And how would I deal with that?

Be very honest and evaluate how your family/friends/recruiters/ the world at large (!) would view this break.

More importantly, can YOU deal with those reactions?

Finally, do I have life philosophies?

Everyone has a life philosophy, and no-one has it right or wrong. Some people might call it religion, and some like me, would call it Principles.

Identify those philosophies that have helped you take decisions in the past. The ones that give you strength and fortitude to face life, especially when you have decided to make life happen. If you want to see some of my life philosophies, click on my YouTube channel.

Posted by:Dechen

Hi! I write on sustainability, books and simply lying fallow. I've worked for 14 years in various industries, but nothing will mean as much as making a real difference through the advocacy of Sustainability. This is a topic that I think is critical in developing economies like India/South Asia.

2 replies on “Planning to take a break? Here’s a checklist

  1. Our religious leaders should also be aware of environment and sustainability. Sometimes in our practice of age old rituals we damage the environment. If our religious leaders can tell their followers to either reduce rituals or be little eco friendly it will go a long way.
    For example in my community we hang prayer flags. The principle it self is very good. We talk of balance and unity of five elements of nature to bring about a balance in our lives.
    Earlier we use to have the paper flags. Then of cotton. But since past decade sentactic ones have become very popular. These do not disintegrate . Prayers flags are meant to be disintegrate and put up new ones.


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