Are You Taking a Vacation this Summer?
OBTW, taking a few days “off” and then working from home DOES NOT COUNT as a vacation.
Seriously…Back away from the desk. And leave your devices there. Nothing bad will happen to you—and something good will, for sure.
Here are three incredibly necessary reasons to “Say Yes!” to that cruise, beach house, or cabin in the mountains.
I. Checking Your Leadership--
I remember thinking that I was too necessary to the operations at work to even consider the frivolousness of a week at the beach. How egotistical I was in my unaware self!
I’m well into a hard-charging career at this point and a more senior colleague said something that really took me by surprise:
“Jane, taking a vacation is an azimuth check on your leadership.
If the organization can stay afloat without you for awhile,
then you’ve done the right things as a leader.
If it can’t, then you haven’t done your job.
But you’ll never know that unless you go away.”
I took a big gulp, and plunged into a one week out-of-country trip.
And…things ran smoothly at the office. My great people rose to the challenge, something that would have been eclipsed by my constant presence. I came back satisfied that I was on the right track to building a resilient team…and I scheduled another vacation six months later.
II. Strengthening Your Emotional Intelligence--
Vacation positively reinforces several EQ competencies:
Stress Tolerance – Empathy -- Emotional Expression -- Optimism.
Put the furrowed brow, tight lips, and clenched jaw away. On vacation you get to expand your expression to include smiles, joy, and laughter.
Moving into a new environment puts you in a place of curiosity and wonder. You're challenged to account for different needs and requirements, strengthening inquisitiveness which is the underpinning of understanding others and anticipating positive outcomes.
III. Supporting Your Neuro-Health
There is truth to the old wives tale "all work and no play make John a dull boy."
Our brain and body get into a groove of robotically responding to work and home demands, dulling our senses from appreciating the daily wonders of our life.
Getting into a different environment and different daily pattern supports Novelty, one of the 5 keys to strengthening NeuroPlasticity, the ability of the brain to create new connections. [The other 4 keys are: Sleep, Nutrition, Exercise, and Focus (see goldfish, below]
Many high-performing people operate in a driven hyper-attentive state. A state that generates a chronic chemical response that wears on our body and mind. [We all know stress kills, right?]
And despite our hyper-attentiveness in responding to the barrage of inputs we receive daily—and well into the night--we have less focus than ever. A 2015 Microsoft study showed that a goldfish now has a longer attention span than most of us do--9 seconds to our 7. To regain this focus--so essential to producing quality work--we have to escape the barrage and give our minds time to rest, refresh, and re-generate.
Exercise your leadership and give someone else a chance to learn and shine while you’re away.
Exercise those under-utilized areas of emotional intelligence.
And most importantly, Exercise your brain by giving it a break from its literally mind-numbing routine and bringing it something new to think about.
Where are you going this year to build new brain cells, i.e., take a vacation?
To your best potential,
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