I love August

August in Europe

Yesterday was the first weekday this year when I had nothing in my calendar.

No meetings, calls, coffees, flights… nothing. It was GLORIOUS!!!

Every year I tell myself I’ll schedule 1 full day each week with no planned activities so I can clear my mind, think strategically, and work on long-term projects. Until yesterday it had been 215 days in 2016 with no such free days. Shame on me.

The great thing about Europe is almost everyone is on vacation the entire month. Since the summer holiday in some countries starts mid July and in others it lasts until early September, so it’s actually closer to 6 weeks of relative downtime.

I know American’s look down on this ‘frivolous’ European month of time off, but for me it’s great. Not only can I reliably catch up on things, it’s as if those of us who work get a slight leg up on the competition (whoever that may be). Kind of like getting up early to shoot hoops while everyone else sleeps.

Remember, the European norm is 25 days off a year. So from a GDP standpoint it really does make sense if most people are generally away at the same time. The alternative for a 10 person team is someone being gone every day of the year, which certainly seems less productive.

How will I spend the rest of my August? With Tara heading back to the US to meet her sister’s first child and 5 more days with a free schedule, I’ll have plenty of time for whatever I choose.

The past few days I used my extra time to write. I find having the time to write concisely forces me to think deeper than usual about a topic. Incredibly enough I have 130 blog ideas in my Evernote, so lets see how writing at least 1 hour a day goes and maybe I can get a few of the better posts up.