Today's the first day of my second sabbatical leave. The first was in 2017.
I explained the primary benefit of such leaves in Morfternight #70 a few days ago, but I forgot a couple important ones.
A sabbatical leave is an opportunity to grow professionally.
It may seem odd to think about improving at your job by not doing it for three months. The thing is, at some point in your career, you shift from contributing directly to the product to leading others who do. Then, as you keep growing, you eventually start leading people who lead others.
From that point onward, the only option to keep scaling and leading larger organizations is to stop doing "stuff."
Being away for three months requires you to ensure that others now do any "stuff" you were still doing by yourself. It teaches you that it is possible and that teams work this way as well, if not better. It opens the possibility, once back, to start providing value in different ways. Spend more time on strategy and less on tactics. More time listening and less talking. More time with users than in spreadsheets or P2 posts.
In other words, increase your altitude.
A sabbatical leave is an opportunity to learn.
Time is the most precious thing.
In general, so much goes into work, sleep, and other chores that what's left seems barely enough to share with family and friends. So dedicating any time to learning something new or practicing something old is a ruthless prioritization exercise where anything nonessential is sacrificed.
During the upcoming three months, I'll have time. Not in excess, that would be impossible, but enough to share a lot with family and friends while also spending some on more activities than the absolute most important.
So, in no particular order, I decided that I would do a deep dive into the possibilities that machine learning and large language models are opening for humans, that I'll take more time each day to make photos, and that I would write here every day, about those things or other ones.
Among the "other ones," you should expect a few posts about apps for note-taking, task, and calendar management, as I am on a quest for the perfect one. Last but not least, a few about bags for cameras and computers, a field in which I developed expertise deeper than I generally care to admit, that I decided must be shared with the world!
A sabbatical leave is an opportunity to travel.
Yes, I'll try to do all that while on the road.
Not right now. Right now, in February, I'll stay in Vienna. Coincidentally many people I want to see will be in town in February, so the best is to stay put, rest, and welcome them.
In March and parts of April, I'll be around a bit. No spoilers for now; there'll be photos here when the time comes.