How much time do you take off around the holidays?


I know this likely varies with deadlines, but I'm curious as to whether people generally take a set period of time off over Christmas/New Year?

If so, would it be a set number of days or flexible arrangement?

As a 'type A' kind of person, I find it very hard to relax if I know my time could be better spent - even though deep down I know relaxation is important in the longer run. If anyone has any tips for guilt-free time off (if such a thing exists :p) then please share!


Avatar for Noctu

I'm taking 3 weeks off... although I am 90% sure I'll spend a good few days trying to complete a systematic review I started a couple of months back!


almost 2 weeks off....but not totally off...i am planning to do some reading..


I'm planning on taking 2 weeks off. I have no intention on doing work between Saturday this week and Sunday the 1st. However, this is all somewhat dependent upon me submitting a big piece of work on Friday.... Fingers crossed!


I'm taking about 10 days off. The university closes over Christmas and New Year so I can't do any experiments anyway and it gives me a very good excuse to have a break. :)


corrections have to be in after christmas, I doubt I'll have much time off except Christmas Eve, Day, Boxing Day and New Years Eve/Day. Booooo!


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I've had time off in terms of not going to uni but I never really took more than a few days off work throughout the PhD (I'd take 24th-26th and 31th-2nd). I don't recommend it but I knew that I had to do it as my sups are perfectionists and I've had loads to do throughout so I've been running behind since I started.

The way I justified taking time off to myself was that, if I worked some days, I could enjoy the others. I wouldn't be able to enjoy time with my family otherwise.

I believe that having time off is important but when you have so much to do, it's really hard. Like you said, it depends on deadlines but also on how much work you have going on. If you're pretty much on schedule, then, personally, I'd recommend having a couple of weeks off. I definitely would have benefited from it!

This year, I have to prepare for a viva I still have no date for and finish a paper. Not a lot in comparison to previous years so I'll finish on the 23rd and come back on the 2nd.

Avatar for Batfink27

I've taken the occasional week off here and there - the difficulty is not feeling guilty while doing that! I've got two weeks this Christmas where I'm either visiting my family or my partner's family, so it's difficult to work while I'm at either, but I will be taking some reading just in case. I'm going to try not to do anything, but I know I'd feel really guilty if I found I did have some time (and the inclination) but hadn't taken any work with me!

Guilt is such a crippling thing. Does anyone have any methods for dealing with feeling guilty while not working?


I took a break whenever I felt jaded and knew I wasn't working effectively. I'm very lucky because I never felt gulity about not working but I suppose that was partly because I worked to small, manageable and achievable goals and always felt I was chipping away at it.


I am taking 2 weeks off to go to Germany and spend Christmas with my in-laws, but realistically it will be more like 3 because we are staying with my parents before and after our travel. However, I think I will spend two weeks of that time working. I have lit review corrections to do, and I also want to finish a wee mini-paper for a handbook that's being published online, plus do some reading and look at some of my initial results. I only actually need to do the lit review corrections, but I'm on a roll with writing at the moment (which hardly ever happens!!) so don't want to let that go to waste. And also after months of feeling confused and lost I'm finally getting really excited and enthusiastic about my project, so I don't actually want to take a break while I'm enjoying it so much!


I am having 12 days off and I can't wait!
As I HAVE to be doing something, I have raided the library and the local bookshop for lots of lovely books to read.
I suspect the house will get cleaned and tidied from top to bottom as well, I only do relaxation when I am sick!


Lots of different replies and very encouraging to see most people do take at least a week off. Thanks in particular to those who said 3 weeks! (up):p

I think I will have a flexible on/off schedule, so that I get the main days off 24-26th and 31st-1st plus other random days as plans come up. (robin)


The uni is closed for nearly 2 weeks so I am taking 2 weeks off. I won't be doing any uni work because I don't ever do any outside of working hours. In general I use all of my 30 days off a year. Hell, they're there to use and there's way more to life than working.


I won't be working between 22nd Dec-3rd Jan, so nearly 2 weeks. I've done this for the past couple of years and I LOVE it! I used to say that I would do work between Christmas and New Year but it never happened, so now I always plan to not do any work in between and have a big break. Hubby's office is also on shutdown from 22nd-2nd, so lots of time off together (up)