It can seem counter intuitive when your back is against the wall to decide to take a break but it’s absolutely the right thing to do. When you have been working hard, and the pace of work nowadays can be relentless, it is important to proactively manage your body and mind to ensure peak performance – and that’s not all about output. Its about input to. That input needs to include rest, as well as nutrition and rejuvenation, for mind AND body.
We are all faced with endless to do lists and a seemingly enormous mountain of pressing daily matters – but perspective will never be gained by being exhausted. We’ve monitored sick days, performance and stress level hare at diamond and inevitably when people have been through a high stress period (like a service centre or software launch; where it is necessary for people to lean in) if we don’t proactively encourage our team to take the breaks after sprints like this then we see sick days go up, productivity goes down and work pace slows.
There’s also the wonderful concept of the deadline that a holiday gives you to get stuff done by – I certainly find I am incredibly productive the week before I go on holiday because I want to make sure that everything is done before I go away so I can rest easy. Therefore the seven days before hand are a period of really accelerated focus. Of course the head space being out of the office also helps you be more creative with finding solutions too – so take that notebook with you whilst you sun yourself somewhere – creativity needs space to thrive – and a holiday gives you that mental breather to allow even better ideas to rise whilst your mind has a chance to stop buzzing on the day to day.
Recently we had a new service centre launch which included relocating a substantial warehouse and the team involved have been working flat out since before Christmas. At a recent set of 121s with the team there were minor niggly issues of motivations, accuracy and a little sense of overwhelm. So Dr Kate here prescribed all of them a holiday. Hey presto – motivation has returned IN ABUNDANCE.
Its funny – we would never think of treating our cars in the same we treat our minds and bodies. No car would run relentlessly for 6 months, without proper servicing, fuel and or maintenance. But when we are under pressure we override our mental and physical needs – with the very best intention of getting stuff done, but ultimately, just as car would – we’ll run out of fuel, something major can go wrong and the wheels just stop rolling. So get on the front foot on this. Minimum of a week off every three to four months – and I promise the productivity and well being of your team will soar.