GradLife McGill

Working over the break: points and counterpoints

The entire last week before the holidays felt like a Friday. Maybe this was because of the gradual attrition of people who left Montreal to fly back home early, or maybe I can attribute that feeling to the daily miscellaneous celebrations and festive activities. Still, during this extra-long weekend that are the holidays, I must face an evergreen question: will I work or not?

POINT: It would allow me to escape from relatives

HOWEVER: Do I really need to work to take a break?


POINT: Progress sometimes happens best during downtime

HOWEVER: Important things are closed for the holidays!


POINT: It can assuage guilt about not working

HOWEVER: Rest is just as important to progress as work

For work that needs to be done in a specific location, the decision to work or not can be dictated by circumstances: if I’m not in Montreal, I obviously can’t just waltz into the lab. But for work that can be done anywhere, whether or not to take the holidays off is ultimately a personal decision. For myself, I’ll do my best to take a real break this year – after all, work will still be there in January.

What about you? Are you going to continue writing your paper or thesis during the holidays? Will you work now to take a month off later? Did you force yourself to take time off by hiding away in a cabin with no Wi-Fi? Leave a comment and let me know!

Header picture by @kipunsam.daily for GradLife McGill