This summer, every member of my team has taken a week of vacation to leave town with their families and enjoy a little time out of the office. A couple of team members went for relaxing weekends on the beach in Florida, one went up to northern Minnesota for some boating and golfing. Regardless of the destination, the point is, they all got out of the office for a bit, and generally came back with a renewed energy and zeal, ready to get back to work.
Every member of the team has taken a vacation this summer and experienced this, except for one: me.
To their credit, the members of my team have been trying to get me to take some time off. (Though, I tend to think they just want me out of the office so that they can have a whole week of casual Fridays.) But, my mindset is that I haven’t reached the goals I set for myself this year yet, and the only place I can remedy that is at the office. Commitment to being in the office and taking care of what I need to take care of is why I’ve been successful over the course of my career.
However, lately, I’ve started to come around to the thinking that vacations and time away from the office might be good for us. And not just when things are going well and it’s easy to get away, but also when things are hectic and it feels like the world would end for you to take a day or two off.
All jobs have those times when you feel burnt out and just mentally exhausted. Times when you start to wonder why you chose the career path you’re on. For some, this may make you start to have almost an existential crisis about what you’re doing with your life.
Sometimes, the appropriate answer is just to lower your head and power through these times until the sailing gets a little smoother. And sometimes, the right approach is to get out and take your mind off work for a little while.
Go to the beach. Play some golf. Hike the Rockies. Go fishing. Have a stay-cation where you get some time to read through the books you’ve been meaning to get to, or finish the remodel on your house you’ve been talking about for 5 years. Get out of the plant, and just get away for a little bit. Whether it’s a day or a week, that’s up to you, but I always encourage everyone to take what my son so aptly calls “me time” from time to time.
I think a lot of the time you’ll find something pretty cool has happened when you come back: you feel relaxed and rested, ready to tackle the challenges that have had you frustrated for so long. Sometimes, fresh eyes are all it takes to solve a problem you’ve been banging your head against for weeks.
Some of you are reading this and thinking, “If I did this and took a week off, this place would be burnt to the ground when I came back…” And I get that thought, I’ve been there as the owner of my own company.
But, what does that say about the team you’ve assembled that you think they couldn’t manage their areas for a week? What does it say about the training job you’ve done (or apparently not done) that you can’t trust them? And how do you fix that? (Hint: the answer to this last question, probably lies in the second question in this paragraph.)
Today, I’m fortunate to have a team here at Oberg and Associates that I have supreme confidence in their ability to grab the baton and run with it if I were to leave for a week, but if you don’t feel this way, let me share my two cents: go anyway. The mental and physical benefits of taking time away from work are well worth a few minor problems and growing pains you might experience when you come back. And you’ll be newly energized and ready for them.
So, I guess I’ll need to take my own advice soon and get away for a little bit, I encourage you all to do the same.
Remember: work to live, to pursue the happiness as we discussed last article, not the other way around.