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The Importance of Downtime

We’ve all been there before – juggling increasingly stressful workloads with the pressures of trying to be ‘present’ at home as much as possible. Often times we are driven by our desire to succeed so much that we neglect what it’s doing to that what we’re trying so hard to build. The competitive pressures to succeed – or just survive – can take a massive toll both mentally and physically on us. A lot of times this buildup of stress and pressure is so gradual that we either don’t feel it or just consider it to be the ‘new normal’. What we don’t know is the impact it is having on our daily lives, both professionally and personally.

The easy answer to mounting commitments at work is to just postpone that vacation that you had planned. And unfortunately there are far too many organizations out there that see this as an acceptable practice. Sure, there are sacrifices that need to be made to be successful but to what end and by what means? By allowing (or worse yet – encouraging) your employees to cancel planned holidays with their family you are sending a message that their lives outside of your office don’t count. Even if you feel you’re leading by example by cancelling your holidays to show them that you’re ‘in it’ with them, all you are doing is teaching them a bad habit so to speak.

So what’s the answer? Obviously there’s no simple solution to digging yourself out of a troubled situation however it’s critical to realize that vacations are just as important to productivity as proper equipment, training and mentoring. By taking time away from the office – and really being away which means not constantly checking emails – people have a chance to rediscover themselves and recharge their batteries. The payback from a well-rested employee will far outweigh the benefits of working them 14 hours a day when they are scheduled to be away from the office with their families.

By taking vacations yourself, as a leader you are telling your team that it’s not only okay to do the same, but that it’s something that needs to be done. By having a team of happy and focused people your productivity will far exceed that of working your team beyond their capacity.

Productive downtime’ is a key factor to keeping that mental sharpness and drive intact. By having an organizational culture that supports and encourages planned downtime to make sure that team members maintain their drive, you are ensuring that your team is focused, motivated and hungry for that next big professional achievement.

Want to know how we can help you and your team? Let's talk!

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