In far too many leadership classes, attendees often talk about the lack of time…lack of time off, lack of time to do the job, lack of time for family, lack lack lack. At the same time, I rarely have found any that have recently taken more than a half-day off. “No time,” they say. What they don’t tell me is the level of productivity they rate when they DON’T take time off. I’m assuming from their prior statements that they cannot compare productivity rates because they don’t take time off.
What I know from my own experience, is that not only is my productivity affected, so is my attitude and relationships with others. Non-vacation mode, I can easily find myself slipping into major work mode – squeezing in all the minutes I can into the day, sometimes at the expense of health, relationships and good common sense. Returning from vacation, sure, all the work is STILL there, piled up, and yes, higher than it was before, just daring me not to stay disciplined to my pledges made during vacation. Truth is, when I am focused, intent on the moment, following my plan for the day, I can accomplish more in a morning than I can in entire days.
Here’s the catch to being able to focus and stay present in the moment rather than multi-tasking and worrying about the next 100 things on my prioritized to do list: if you’re tired, stressed, worn out…you cannot be focused or present in the moment. Your mind is way too exhausted and on overdrive, running in a thousand directions at once. No way to work, no way to live. Taking breaks – full length vacations of a week or more at once and taking interim mini-breaks for a day here and there to stretch the weekend – will work wonders. I know. I just took over a week’s vacation and came back rarin’ to go. Got everything done the first day that I had planned for the entire week. WHOO HOO. I got TIME!!!