Everyone needs time off at regular intervals, to relax, recharge and forget about work for a while.
Over the last 18 months or so of a global pandemic which has for many meant working from home, the lines between work and home have become blurred. And it has for many potentially raised the question: Am I working from home or living at work?
Even if you love working from home, valuing the flexibility it gives you and the time and money you save, it may also bring some challenges.
So switching off from work during your time off is likely more important than normal this year. How will you ensure you can do just that? How do you make your time off count? How do you build recharging into your busy life throughout the year too, not just during your official annual leave?
HERE ARE SOME IDEAS TO CONSIDER
FOR YOUR TIME OFF
- If possible, identify someone at work who can cover for you, and who you can refer any requests to
- Use an out-of-office message on communication tools and devices with reference to your cover person
- Make a list of all the things you will need to focus on when you’re back from holiday (so that you can rest assured that they won’t be forgotten and you can let go of them for now)
- If work pops into your mind, make note what it’s about and put it in your calendar for when you’re back at work (and let it go)
- Make sure you do things that inspire and recharge you
- If possible, have at least two weeks off in a row. It can take a few days just to wind down, so one week may not be enough to really relax and recharge
FOR ALL YEAR ROUND
- Think about how you can work smarter, not harder. Working all hours just makes you tired, not productive
- Have set office hours, even if you work from home. Have a deadline for when you switch off your computer at the end of the day. Only extend that if absolutely needed
- Schedule daily recharge moments; go for a walk, have a nap, listen to music, be on your own, be with others, talk, be in silence. Know yourself well enough, honour your preferences by knowing how to best recharge
- Take a few moments at the end of each day to think about the positives and what you have achieved today and how you can take those positives and insights with you into the next day and the future.
Overall, it’s about allowing yourself to hit the pause button at regular intervals. You don’t need to be “on” all the time. When you pause in a busy day (or by taking time off work) and allow time for personal and executive reflection, you gain access to more of your inner wisdom and insights. Reflection helps create insight, better decisions and better results.
When you stop for a while, you can gain new perspective, new ideas, renewed energy and determination.
So don’t just run, run, run. Being busy is not necessarily the same thing as being productive and successful. Being busy is not a badge of honour. Unless we are doing the right, relevant things – the things that really make a difference – we maybe shouldn’t be doing them at all. Think ‘do less, achieve more’. Choose carefully.
Some of the most successful people we’ve encountered are not those that are always “on” but those who can really focus while at work and equally really focus on being off when they’re off. They are good at being 100% present wherever they are, whatever they are doing.