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Open Forum

They say when life hands you lemons, make lemonade. And that’s the truth for many of our colleagues as they plan what to do with their extra furlough time off. From volunteering at local schools to traveling abroad to spending a much-needed day doing absolutely nothing, we’ve heard some pretty cool ways in which our colleagues are planning on spending their furlough days.

We want to know, how are you planning to spend your furlough days?

Post a comment below to share with your colleagues.

Comments ( 11 )

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  1. Jennie September 28, 2009 Reply

    Catching up on: sleep, reading, housework, gardening, exercising, school stuff (I'm taking a weekly class), playing with my cats. Basically all the stuff I already do but now I have a little more time to do it. I'm definitely trying to look at it as a positive thing - the pay cut hurts but the time off goes a long way towards reconciling me with it.

  2. Dennis September 29, 2009 Reply

    I plan to help volunteer at my kids’ school, or go on some field trips with them. It’s a good way for me to spend more time with them.

  3. Dilcie September 29, 2009 Reply

    I’m using my time to build my entrepreneurial skills.

  4. Lena Zentall September 29, 2009 Reply

    At the California Digital Library, about a dozen staff members including our Director, Laine Farley, shared ideas at a lunchtime brown bag last week on personal furlough planning. We also focused on how to work smarter with fewer productive work hours. Finally, we shared ideas for building resiliency through professional development (we called it your “professional fitness” plan) — that is, focusing on one or two things you’d like to improve during the furlough year such as presentation skills, facilitation skills, or taking a class. The question we posed was: “What would you like to be able to say you’ve accomplished (professionally) at this time next year?”. Furlough ideas spanned the gamut from spending more time with family (e.g., with children, or helping aging parents), to studying Italian for a trip to Italy, to doing volunteer projects. The common thread was doing something personally meaningful. Everyone agreed it was helpful to have flexibility in how you can take the furlough days. We’re planning another voluntary brownbag for late winter to check-in on each other’s progress.

  5. Lena Zentall September 29, 2009 Reply

    Thank you for starting this Open Forum topic. I’m very interested to hear what others are doing.

    My initial thoughts are to take the furlough time all at once and do a volunteer project. I haven’t settled on the project yet but just knowing I have a chunk of time to devote to something meaningful is prompting me to explore new areas. It inspired me to go to a Public Service Leadership forum at UC Berkeley extension led by Christine Pelosi and co-sponsored by the Bay Area Business Round Table. The timing was not good for me to take the full Public Service Leadership Boot Camp course, but I’m hoping it will be offered again in the Spring.

  6. Leslie Wolf October 6, 2009 Reply

    I am thinking about creating my own “boot camp” for furlough days. In the morning I could challenge myself to a workout routine, and in the afternoon challenge myself to learn a new technology. That way I will have no excuses (getting up too early, getting home too late) and I’ll reinforce new habits.

  7. Rachael Hu October 8, 2009 Reply

    I have such little time during the normal work week to really reflect, learn and think about the overall trends in the academic and information technology world. I want to use my furlough time to catch up on my professional reading so that I can continue to build knowledge that will help my professional development and growth.

    I also like Lena Zentall’s idea of attending forums or other professional meetups to meet and learn from others.

  8. Patricia Osorio-O'Dea October 13, 2009 Reply

    I’ll be spending my time volunteering in my son’s kindergarten class, and hopefully doing some much needed work on the house.

  9. Fredye Harms October 14, 2009 Reply

    The real question is, what will I NOT be doing! 🙂 Furloughs are a great time to catch up on my real life. I intend to wring every drop out of them.

  10. alexisendicott October 14, 2009 Reply

    I’ll be spending my extra days planning my wedding back in Wisconsin next year!

  11. Charles Barragan October 20, 2009 Reply

    I’m applying my furlough days in dribs and dabs towards vacation travel, and have more extended quality time with family and friends in Southern California, Seattle, and French Polynesia.

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