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Recharging for Productivity

By July 11, 2019February 12th, 2021No Comments

Are you too busy to take time off? I get it. It can be hard. For some of my clients summer is the busiest time of year, which is a dream come true for small local businesses and social enterprises so it’s hard to justify slipping away- even just for a long weekend. Which is why it may surprise you to hear that I actually encourage my consulting clients to make time off a priority. Not convinced yet? Take a look at these compelling reasons to take a break.

 

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

We live in a culture that is always plugged in and digitally connected. In some ways it has made our lives much easier and made us more productive, but in other ways it’s been unhealthy. We can now work and answer emails in the middle of the night from the comfort of our beds. That’s not healthy for your brain, your body or your relationships. Taking some time off needs to include disconnecting from your email and learning once again to stay in the moment. Plug back in to the things you enjoy (besides work!), you know, those things that get you in the flow where you lose track of time. It’s good for your brain. Play again. Make memories with friends and family. Enjoy the fruits of your labor. You don’t want to be dull.

You are a human being, not a human doing.

There truly aren’t too many things better in life than to love what you do for a living. I work with people who are passionate about what they do and the communities they serve. That doesn’t mean though that a break is not in order. Your identity is more than what you do. Even when you love your work, it’s still work. You’ve got to be intentional about scheduling time off and at working on work/life balance. Just being and not doing breaks the stress cycle. I’m not suggesting that your time off involves doing nothing- on the contrary you should do things- things that relieve your stress and helps you tap into who you are, a human being.

We are fortunate to be so close to the mountains. For those of you who follow my social media you know hiking is a must for me. Nothing has the power to so quickly adjust my attitude as being out in nature. There is a name for it, forest bathing. According to Medical News Today, “Forest bathing, defined as staying in a forest, either walking or simply resting and watching it, and taking in its air for a specified amount of time” has been shown to significantly decrease cortisol levels thereby reducing stress and improving your quality of life. It’s not just in my head, it’s actually scientific.

Decreased cortisol levels are something to work for. Have you noticed how good you feel after being out in nature? How much deeper that breath was when you stood next to that tree? Or just after a nice soak in a hot tub or bath? Or even just after a walk around the block with the dog? How you have some really good creative ideas when you aren’t striving and thinking? Possibly and most likely ideas that will improve and grow your business. Some of my best creative brainstorms have happened on hiking trails. Those genius ideas are just under the surface waiting for a quiet moment when your stress levels are down.  (Pro tip – always carry a small notepad for those moments!)

Your employees will appreciate it.

Your business shouldn’t fall apart if you take some time off. If anything, preparing to leave will help you get caught up on the loose ends that maybe you’ve put off doing. It also gives you the opportunity to delegate more to your employees, which is probably something you’ve needed to do anyway. If you’ve hired well, your employees will appreciate your trust in them and take more ownership for the success of your business. That’s a win-win for both of you in the short term and long term.

Be a localist.

In this day and age of Airbnb and vacation rentals by owners, a stay-cation can include an adventure close to home yet be super affordable and personalized. Book an urban adventure or a mountain cabin and get out there! Make a mini-retreat sacred space where you unplug and destress. It’s quick and easy and yet a legit vacation.

Just as taking off around the holidays help you start the New Year strong, taking time off in July helps you recalibrate and finish the year strong.  A change of pace and a change of locale can give you new eyes to see what it is you really want and what you need to be doing.

That’s why we’re taking stay-cations and vacations in July – it helps to recharge our batteries and focus for the second half of the year. See you in August!

 

How about you- what will you plan this month? Share with us how you plan to recharge.