In a few hours I’ll be at about 35,000 feet, on my way with my family to take a few weeks off overseas. Outside of penning this article, I have no plans at all to do any work, and I have vowed not even to check my work email address while away.
If you’re in a management position, that may sound like a scary proposition. Projects will grind to a halt, the office will collapse into madness, and the apocalypse will rear its ugly head.
All joking aside, the only madness here is if you don’t take regular breaks. It won’t be as obvious, sure, but that run-down, not-at-peak performance situation isn’t what your employees or clients want from you either.
Infact, I’d say going on holiday is great for those around you. Here are six reasons why:
It Empowers Your Team
Being unavailable for a few weeks is a great way to give your people the power of decision-making. It shows those under you that you trust them, and if they do indeed make any mistakes, then it will be them who will have to learn to deal with the results; just like you do.
It Trains Your Clients
Your customers shouldn’t feel they always have 24 hours a day, seven days a week access to you. That’s not a healthy place for either party to be in, and let’s face it; your clients take breaks; why not you as well? I’ve never had a client fire me for taking a well-deserved break.
It Tests Your Systems
Situations where a key person is away from a project or a role means that it tests the resilience of your processes and systems. If they are correctly set up, there will be little impact to the business or the projects underway.
Vacations are Great for Your Wellbeing
We all need downtime, and I don’t just mean a night off away from email (although that’s a good way to start as well). A good break does wonders for your motivation when you return to the fray – I always notice a new bounce in my step after a week or more away from the office, and positivity really is infectious!
It Encourages Those Around you to Take a Break
As much as we’d all like to think we’re invincible, taking time off is great for a recharge. You want the best from your team, so you need to ensure they all take regular holidays as well to be in their best shape.
In fact, I’ve been known to ask my employees to book leave – I always notice a lift in productivity upon their return, if there’s been quite a while between vacations.
Taking a Break Helps With Your Self-discipline
It really is hard to stay clear of contact from the office; I understand that. I find it a challenge to avoid email just for a weekend – three whole weeks will push my limits. However, it’s a great test of my own self-discipline.
I urge you to pull out that calendar, mark a date in your diary and work towards taking a break in the not-too-distant future. Your clients, employees and family will appreciate the reasons (and you’re welcome to send this article to anyone who doubts your intentions!).
Enjoy that break – and I’ll let you know how mine went when I return!
As Director of Bam Creative, and Chairperson of the Australian Web Industry Association, Miles spends his time managing his business or speaking about managing businesses. Recently awarded as one of the top Western Australian entrepreneurs under 40 years old, Miles can also be found writing at Miles' Blog.