The 12 Days...of Time Off

Lauren Young

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One of the joys of working at a weekly magazine is that it operates on a set publishing schedule. Here at BusinessWeek, we usually put out 50 issues each year, which means there are two “down” weeks when we don’t print a magazine—typically one in August and another one again in December.

After writing two big articles for our big year-end double issue, I decided to take the most recent down week off. I thought it would be cool to hang out in New York, go to museums, and catch up on errands.

Let’s just say I’ve been more productive in the past five hours that I’ve been back in the office than I was during the 12 days I was at home. For one thing, I’ve showered and put on clean clothes. I’ve also eaten two meals and read two newspapers. I’ve conducted three interviews. I've received, and, in some cases, sampled chocolate from four different purveyors. (A tough job, but someone has to do it!) I’ve plowed through more than 500 emails. I've posted more than 20 holiday cards on the wall behind my desk, made a doctor’s appointment, and planned a work event.

While I was off, I never made it to a museum. My resolution to go to the gym every day was sidetracked by a bad head cold. I did manage to see a few movies and spend some quality time with my son and my family. I also volunteered at a community center one afternoon. I made a killer batch of brownies. My biggest achievement? I stamped, addressed, and mailed out more than 200 holiday cards.

Even so, fellow blogger Amy Dunkin and I agree that there’s something about being “on the clock,” in an office and at a desk that makes us uber-productive.

And I guess that’s why I work: To get things done.