I meet a lot of people who tell me that they never take a holiday or they only take a couple of days out of their leave allowance. Their logic is that they are too busy and it would be unproductive. These are usually the same people who never take breaks during the working day, except pit stops or smoke breaks, and eat lunch either on the run or at their desks. These are probably also the same people whose tempers get rattier as the day progresses and sleep beyond their home train stop.
Wrong, wrong, wrong!!!
No-one can cope at that pace for long. Your body has a finite capacity for this level of overwork and it needs regular breaks and regular refreshment during the day. Contrary to the belief of some, you are far more productive if you take breaks to chat with colleagues or go for a walk to get some fresh air. We all need to be able to switch off regularly, so working 24/7 and 7/7 is seldom a good idea. Granted, there are occasions when a particular piece of work needs a heads-down, must-complete approach but not all day and every day. That is a recipe for disaster.
One of the skills we all need to cultivate is to listen to our bodies when they are telling us that something is wrong. Not just that we are about to suffer a bout of ill-health, that is an out-of-the-ordinary occurrence. I’m talking about those moments when you have to realise that you are either too stressed, too tired or too overworked to function normally. And that can happen a lot at this time of year.
For a perfect example of that moment when you have to step back and realise that five minutes peace and quiet is going to be of immediate benefit, I offer what happened to me yesterday. Honestly, I’m shocked at this because I’m usually quite good at self-monitoring. I bet you’ve had that moment when you put a credit card in a machine at the till and, for a split second, you can’t remember the PIN number. Fine. It happens. How about being utterly, totally, completely unable to remember the button press sequence for the TV remote control? I kid you not! I have tried to calculate how many times I must do this virtually automatic action every week. Quite a few I think, and we’ve had this TV for a couple of years so the total must be huge! So how overloaded must I be if I simply cannot remember how to do it and am standing in front of the TV with literally no muscle memory to assist me? Talk about brain freeze – it was terrifying. Ever been there? If so, I bet you don’t want to experience it again – I certainly don’t. Time to down tools and enjoy a well-earned rest.
If you would like to chat about any productivity or prevarication issues you are having, then I’d love to help you so do give me a call. In the meantime, I hope you have a wonderful summer.