Sometimes the best investment you can make at work is to step away from it for a while. To get out of the daily grind and make time for rest, peace, and recharging with family, friends, and reflection.
In fact, we would all love even just an hour of this time every day. When we take some time off during the day, we call it a break.
When we do it every week, we call it a weekend.
And when we do it for an extended period of time, we call it a vacation.
While there are some out there who believe that taking more than 5 minutes to go to the restroom and scarf down lunch equates to laziness and an irreparable loss of productivity (don’t even ask about vacation), much of the science behind actual productivity and human psychology would disagree.
Contrary to the claims of holiday naysayers, I’ll give you three reminders for the upcoming season of travel to help you hold on to the advantages that the occasional leave of absence affords. Whether you’re returning from Spring Break with the kids or hoping to get away for a week of vacation this summer, don’t let your vacation go to waste like a flash in the pan. Hopefully these three thoughts will help you bring your newfound rhythms and rest back home to your daily life.
1. Reset Your Pace
Hopefully, you unplugged enough to actually rest while on vacation. This is the best time to reset to a healthy pace that allows you to be productive in your work. Don’t return to the frantic pace of your work-culture or your past stresses. Instead, reset what you do, when you do it, and how you do it. Consider your emotions, experiences, and how you think while on vacation, then implement a few strategies during your daily and weekly routines to cultivate the peaceful mindset of your best moments. Did you love playing volleyball on the beach? Try rejoining your old softball league or find a sand volleyball team. Did you get lost in a book for the first time in years? Carve out 30 minutes a day (before breakfast, at lunch, before bed, etc) or an hour on the weekend to indulge your love for the written word, whether fantastical adventures, practical self-help, or an interesting biography.
2. Capture the Trip
Many people run from one thing to the next on vacation – either out of excitement or a sense of responsibility to take advantage of every available moment – but too often they fail to capture the moment. And I don’t just mean through pictures, though those are certainly invaluable and a staple of memory-making for our nostalgic future selves. But what about your emotions? Your excitement or peace? What about the little things or the unexpected adventures that made the trip just perfect? Take thirty minutes at the end of your trip and write down what you learned (about yourself, your family, friends, destination, etc) during your time away. Surely there were 2-3 “aha” moments or opportunities to learn something you can implement in your daily life. Did you love drawing on your foreign language skills for the first time since high school? Maybe pick up a Rosetta Stone to help you pursue it further. Did you realize your family enjoyed a more relaxed pace of activities rather than a frenetic rush to fill every moment? Keep that in mind not just for future vacations, but for your everyday approach to family time or weekends. Capture your ideas so that you lead yourself better the next time.
3. Keep a Restful Attitude at Work
For most people it takes at least 3-4 days until they can rest on vacation. There is an unwind period in order to get into a restful groove. So keep it. You put in the effort and time to get into a restful state of mind, why not keep it that way? What would happen if you were able to carry your restful groove into work. Maybe you developed some habits to recharge on vacation, or picked up a saying that reminds you of peaceful days on the beach or adventures in the wilderness. Whatever the quirks or routines you found, figure out a way to keep them embedded in your everyday life. Use them as anchors to those moments of adventure, rest, relationship, and joy.
It’ll make your days go by faster and drain some tension from the moments of stress. You worked hard to get a break. Now, work hard to keep your newfound rest at work.
Cheers, you deserve it!
If you’re interested in learning more about how your rest affects your leadership, we’re happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let us know!