Why you must take a holiday
I’ve just come back to work from 3 weeks off over the Christmas period, which was fantastic. I had time with my family, watched films from start to finish, which I rarely do (Horrible Bosses had me laughing out loud, great film if you haven’t seen it) and took long baths and read for pleasure.
I confess, I checked my social media, responded to the odd email but I didn’t attempt to or want to get my teeth into anything workwise. This took discipline because I run my own business, and it’s really hard to switch off. Even if you are employed, you know what it’s like. For me there are always exciting opportunities, collaborations coming my way, conversations that I want to contribute to and new ideas that I want to put into action.
The result? My first week back has been really productive, I purposefully didn’t book any external meetings, so have been burrowed away in my office. I called it creative and planning time in my diary.
You know those things that you keep meaning to do but don’t and often end up doing over your holidays, well this week I’ve done those.
Things like writing new assignments for the ILM Coaching and Mentoring Course that I deliver, following up with clients to see their progress, deciding what I will delegate, archiving, actually booking in meetings with those connections that I know I would benefit from chatting over coffee with and putting together a clear strategy for 2013.
What’s even better, is that I have done them with a clear head and relaxed body, I know I have been more productive and the quality of my output has been better than it would have done otherwise. You see when I get too busy, too tired, I lose my groundedness, my centre, my connection to what’s important. This is why I take regular time out to make sure that every connection is a good one, that my intentions are connected to what’s important to me: supporting women juggling work and home, particularly those who are the main earner. Ultimately, I want to be the best: wife, mother, daughter, granddaughter, employer, coach, colleague, speaker, author, friend, I can be without losing myself in the process.
So what am I going to do to keep working from this good place:
- Meditate at least 3 times a week in order to keep my mind clear and my focus sharp – the Chopra center does a 21 day mediation – only 5 minutes per day which is really effective
- Book in my holidays now – if I wait for a gap in the diary it wont come. I am going to book three holiday slots in my diary when I will not be working. These don’t have to be exotic holidays, you can be at home if you’re disciplined enough.
- Keep delegating – I know that family, friends, colleagues all want to help if I give them the space and guidance to do so.
So what about you? Reach for that diary right now and book those dates out, and feel the weight lift off your shoulders and your productivity improve. Even if you can’t control the amount of holiday you take, make sure that you take the maximum entitled to you.
I am Jenny Garrett, Executive Coach, founder of Reflexion Associates, a leadership and coaching consultancy and author or Rocking Your Role – the how to guide to success for female breadwinners. Find out more about me, my programmes, speaking engagements and training at rockingyourrole.com and sign up for my newsletter