Have you made time to get out of the office for a break this summer? If so, great! You can skip to the Coach’s Nudge below. If not, read on. I’d like to help you get something on the calendar.
Taking time to rest, relax and take care of your health isn’t a luxury.
It’s essential that leaders carve time for themselves to build and renew the energy it takes to lead.
Thanks to a great summer vacation, I’m feeling ready and excited for Q4. I’ve been prioritizing taking significant time off during the summers for the past few years. I recharge my batteries by immersing myself in the things I love. I spend time with family and friends, get outdoors, go to our cottage, get projects done around the house – my holiday feeds me and makes me better, clearer, stronger and more appreciative when I’m back at work.
You know that if something isn’t on the calendar, it doesn’t happen. You need to identify and protect time for deep recovery the way you protect your priority projects, your budgets or your company.
What do you need for recovery? A couple of days to get away and reconnect with your spouse? A week trekking in the mountains? Two weeks at a resort with good books, great food, and family? More important than the number of days you take away from the office is the quality of the breaks you take.
If you’re checking messages, you aren’t relaxing. If you’re just going to sign-off on one last thing, you aren’t letting go. The big value is in deep recovery. So here’s what you need to do to get that:
1. Block time.Block something off on the calendar today.
2. Be unavailable. Tell people you won’t be working while you are out of the office. Give one person (who understands the meaning of the word “emergency”) a way to contact you. Give everyone else a chance to function without you.
3. Be you. Give yourself permission to do things that you really need or want to do, things that will bring you joy and help you reconnect with your life away from work.
4. Commit to deep recovery. When you go into a break with the goal of recovery, you are more likely to make healthy, smart choices that result in real recovery and a better, stronger, brighter you. (And that benefits everyone around you too.)
You can figure out the details later, but like I said, if recovery isn’t on your calendar, it won’t happen. So before you jump to the next email in your inbox, open your calendar and give yourself a break.
I know, some of you haven’t taken a summer break yet and here I am asking you about November/December. Here’s why. I want you to block time in the calendar now for some recovery BEFORE holiday invites and obligations eat up any chance you have to rest and connect with people on your terms.
If you want a few days away from everything – maybe just with your partner, maybe just with your kids, or just by yourself – block those days off NOW.
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