Julia Jamieson Swenson

Designer, manager, and creative working and living life in Durham, NC.




The email will be there when you get back.

I’ve just returned from what I consider my first real vacation in my adult life. It wasn’t going home for Christmas, not a long weekend, not a weekend at a music festival. It was a whole week off.

We rested. We slept in. We read. We drank and ate. We walked on the beach. We sat in the sun. I drank freaking pina coladas and one too many beers in the sun. Who drinks pina coladas anyway? We read some more. We got sunburnt. We babbled on about future adventures and how to spend the rest of the day. We ate pancakes with mango and coconut fritters with crab stew.

These days it’s like we’re almost trained to not want to take a vacation, that vacation means laziness, that you’re not working hard enough if you want time off. I say, think the opposite. Work hard, and enjoy your time off.

My vacation was wonderful, restful, and rejuvinating. It allowed me to reset, get caught up with my boyfriend who I hardly see, and assess my goals for the next year.

I felt so happy to receive only a few emails from work, most of which were group emails simply keeping me in the loop. No pressing emails, no emergencies, not points of stress. I was impressed (and grateful).

I encourage you. I implore you. Take a vacation. Don’t look at your email. Not even for a minute. Just turn it off. Stay off Facebook. #latergram instead of Instagram. Post your Vine videos later. Don’t even think about twitter. Read a book, enjoy your nearest and dearest. Your friends and coworkers will understand, and will enjoy catching up when you return. And if not, maybe it’s time to find some new coworkers and friends.

The emails will be there, so rest and enjoy yourself in the meantime. There’s no point letting your mind race. We live in such a fast paced world. With a constant sense of urgency–go, now, finish, today– but for things that aren’t truly urgent.

So go. Take a vacation. That is urgent. You’ll be a better coworker, friend, partner, whatever, when you get back. I promise I won’t email you in the meantime.

This post was also published on Medium. 



Giving & Receiving Productive Design Critique

Giving & Receiving Productive Design Critique