After working hard all morning, I glanced up and realized it’s snowing outside. Growing up in California, we never had snow days but in the 20-some years I’ve lived on the East Coast, I’ve come to love the concept.
Snow days epitomize the idea of letting go. All those well-made plans of your parents and your teachers, all the responsibilities of school and homework, are thrown out the window and replaced by a giddying sense of freedom and exhilaration.
Watching the snow fall helped me solidify an idea I’ve been circling for a few weeks now: the importance of learning how to compartmentalize. The ability to focus on work while you’re working and let go of it completely and totally when you’re not feeds your creativity, improves your productivity and helps you avoid burn out.
Most of us know how to work hard. It’s learning how to truly relax that’s the challenge. We live in an age of constant interruption and all-consuming work. People think nothing of doing business on weekends, evenings, even holidays. But we all need a break sometimes. A break that’s a real break: one where we don’t check e-mail or phone messages, take calls from clients or allow ourselves to worry about all the things we’re not getting done. A chunk of time where we allow ourselves to play, to decompress, to rejuvenate.
Every once in awhile we all need a snow day, whether it’s snowing or not.