Time to recover your strength


Tired and worn out? The holiday season might be a suitable time for a reminder of how important taking time off is for your creativity. The power of time off…

When the American star designer Stefan Sagmeister realised that every new thing he did was only a re-working of old ideas, he understood that he desperately needed a holiday. But for Stefan, the idea grew into something much, much more than just a few weeks off in the summer. His realisation gave birth to a completely new life pattern; he decided to live his life in cycles, and to take a whole year's sabbatical every seventh year in order to gather new strength.

"We spend our first 25 years learning this and that, then come 40 years of work before we finish off with 15 years of retirement. I thought it would be a good idea to take five of my retirement years and use them to divide up my working life. For me, this has made all the difference in the world," says Sagmeister.

Have a look at his fascinating lecture here on Ted Talks, where he talks about his own experience and how the sabbatical years have released a whole new energy. But he also talks about insightful companies such as the tape manufacturer 3M which has, ever since the 1930s, allowed its employees to use 15 per cent of their working time in whatever way they like; it was out of this program, furthermore, that Scotch tape was born.

"Pretty much everything I've achieved in recent years has been ideas that have come out of my time off," says Sagmeister.