The technology that we have access to today allows many of us to work non-stop. In the past we may have had to travel somewhere to work, but now we are able to work from almost anywhere. Work, today, could be described as a state of mind rather than a location. Many of us today still travel somewhere to work and then come home and work as well. We have the same tools available to us at home that we do in our places of employment. The consequence of this present reality is that some of us almost never stop working. Even while at home, we don’t stop to let our minds rest.
From the beginning of time rest has been critical for people. Most of those whom I coach are tired and need rest. Many struggle to allow themselves to stop working . The inevitable result of this is that many leaders are burned out, tired, anxious, depressed, and altogether unhealthy.
Listen, leaders, you have to stop working sometimes. Here are a couple of steps in the right direction.
Take at least a couple of hours each night and don’t work. Hang with your family or friends, do laundry, cook a meal. Don’t allow your mind to enter work mode. Unless you are a doctor on call, turn your work phone off for a couple of hours and rest from work.
Take a minimum of 24 hours each week and do nothing that touches your work. Avoid work email. Don’t enter the state of mind that is work. Recharge in the way that you recharge best. Read a book, exercise, spend time with your family, watch a basketball game, hang out with friends, play ultimate frisbee, go to the movies. But, don’t work!
Take a vacation. It’s OK if you can’t afford to go to Costa Rica. Take the time that is allotted to you and stop working. Put an auto responder on your email. Disconnect from social media, read some fiction, and watch the sunset.
Daily, weekly, and periodic time off will re-charge you, keep you healthy, and make you more effective when you do work. What works for you in this area? Comment and get the conversation going.