Vincy Workplace
June 29, 2007
Take a break for goodness sake!

Remember the saying, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”? If only some adults would heed that warning. We’ve all met them-people who have so much vacation time accrued they could take a few months off and still have time left over . . . people who brag about how long it’s been since they had a vacation . . . people who complain about never having any time for themselves . . .{{more}}

How disturbing is that? Oh-or is that you?

No matter how important you are, you need to take time off. Presidents, prime ministers, and CEOs do it, so why can’t you? Your failure to take time off demonstrates the following:

  • You truly do not value yourself or the value you bring to the company. You may be a major contributor to the success of the company, but it’s been proven that the body needs regular times of rejuvenation. Vacations offer your mind, body, and soul opportunities to de-stress and cleanse themselves of the toxic people and virulent situations you handle on a daily basis. Even if the rejuvenation is only temporary, your mind, body, and soul do need it.
  • You’re stifling your creativity. You may be good at what you do; in fact you probably are. And you may think that even when you’re exhausted, you still produce excellent work. The truth is, while running on empty, you limit yourself and your ability to produce true excellence; you become satisfied with any results you produce. In comparison, however, imagine for just a moment the improved quality you could achieve after a vacation, when you’ve had time to rest and recharge to peak performance.
  • You may be addicted. Have you considered the possibility that your work may be an addiction? Some people choose substances, while others choose work. A job or career can become a means of escaping from an unpleasant reality at home, from loneliness, or from some other burden or responsibility. If a person gets respect, admiration, and praise that is absent from the unpleasant situations he or she is trying to avoid, work responsibilities and environments can offer temporary solace from the pain of those predicaments. In those cases, work fills a need; these people would stay at work at any cost.
  • You pressure your coworkers. Your inability to unwind affects the “normal” people around you who do value their life and family by making them feel guilty or less important because they do take time off. You work all week and holidays, but it’s unrealistic to expect the same level of insanity from your coworkers or subordinates, especially if you hide behind the title of manager or supervisor. Your decision to work yourself to death does not mean that those who do take time off are any less committed to their jobs. The workplace will not fall apart in your absence.
  • Some people who find themselves unable to take a break just do not know what to do with their time. If that’s you, start with a half day. Try to do something fun-take a short trip, visit a friend you’ve lost touch with, or (if you have alienated all your friends) volunteer with the elderly or youths. Leave your cell phone, PDA, and computer at home. When you’ve mastered a half day, work your way up to a full day, then two and eventually a week. Just make an effort and make it a regular activity, and schedule it ahead of time. Taking time off for yourself will feel foreign at first, but you will be surprised at how great you feel once you get the hang of it

Karen Hinds President/CEO – Workplace Success Group,
Toll Free: 1-877-902-2775; Tel: 1-203-757-4103
Creator of The Workplace Success Program (TM)