Ok, how many of you have run out of gas in your car? I know it is not an easy thing to admit but I will start it off and say, yes, I have been one of those individuals. And of course we all know friends or family where this has happened and, in most cases, it comes down to two main answers – “I was not paying attention to the gauge” or “I just thought I could get a bit farther.” The great thing is once you have done it, you generally never do it again.
So why is it that we forget or refuse to refill our tank and, in this case, I mean our bodies and minds? Not only do we do it once but we do it repeatedly. For most of us, we get vacation time, personal and sick days from our employers. Instead of using that time, many people I know will bank time and just keep going. Creating a safety net is fine but at what cost? So we accrue all this vacation time just in case and in the mean time, we are mentally and physically exhausted. What can follow is resentment for friends and family who do take time off. Well remember, nobody is making you do this. We are in choice! Be in choice of taking care of yourself first which will in turn make you a better employee, friend and family member.
We are so connected than we have been in the past and of course technology has escalated beyond what we would have thought even 15 years ago. With that can come this feeling that if we step away from our email or laptop there will either be so many emails or so much work to catch up on that it almost sounds frightening so we don’t. What then happens is burn out and we run out of gas. To fill up our cars with a tank of gas takes only a few minutes but when we burn ourselves out it takes much longer. So my recommendation as we move into the summer months is to really take vacation and time off. Step away from work and your emails. One of the many things I love about working for Target Analytics®, is that our vacation does not roll over so we use it. This allows us to revitalize ourselves whether it is for a week or two or even just a couple of days. I know I come back charged and ready to go and hit the ground running.
I am going to be taking off this Tuesday evening and won’t be back to work until the following Tuesday. I will not be bringing my laptop or will be checking my email and, as a result, I will refill my tank of energy, determination and compassion. I challenge you all to find time this summer to take time for yourselves and really honestly step away from work – don’t check email and if you are going to get on a computer then do it for fun and to connect with family and friends. I guarantee you this will make you a better employee and most importantly a better person!
*Michael Quevli is a consultant fo Target Analytics. You may reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.