Being on “leave” between jobs has been an interesting experience. I don’t think I’m too bad at letting work go while I am on leave; I may promise myself to keep track of email or to get a report done, but that is typically wishful thinking.
By the time I am two days in, work “doesn’t exist” anymore.
Which is why I was so surprised that after finishing my last job it took less than three weeks for me to feel more relaxed than I had ever been during leave in the 11 years at the job.
I can only attribute this to the fact the little voice in the back of my head realised this time it really didn’t need to remember anything. And I realised; when I am on leave there is always that part of me that runs through a little mental list of things I need to remember because I am going to need them the day I return to work. Shutting that off makes more difference than I ever would have believed.
I’m not sure there is a concrete lesson in this. I don’t think forgetting everything about one’s job over leave is really an option, but maybe there are ways to get more mileage out of this effect in an ongoing job as well.
It occurs to me that perhaps during the transition of a promotion would be a perfect time to take a break, since that’s the closest to an opportunity to forget the job; just prior to picking up a new one. But still, I doubt I could convince the voice that I really do not need to stress about remembering everything else about the company.
Or maybe I should try the same trick that works for sleepless nights: writing down what I am worried about forgetting. When you write the thoughts milling through your head down, sleep has been shown to follow quickly. Maybe a special “holiday notebook”, note down everything to remember and then stop thinking about it? And don’t plan on doing anything work related at all of course!
Or as a last resort… maybe resigning and getting re-hired around every break is a way to get the same effect ultimately… bit of a leap of faith though.