It’s summertime! Where have you been? What have you been doing? As a business leader, you’ve got a lot on your plate. Too often, you push aside much needed relaxation and enjoyment from our hectic schedules. We’re guilty of it too. But here’s the thing. Research tells us that working long hours without taking personal time makes us LESS productive. Of course, the same applies to your employees! And you must lead by example. Show your passion not only your business, but your life.
Think about it…this is your life and you only have one of them! The more someone works, the more their brain and body needs to rest and de-stress. Be a good role model, not only for yourself but everyone around you. Here’s some pointers to help you out.
#1. Lead from the front: Make sure your words and actions align. Respect your employees’ time off the clock unless it’s an emergency. If you are doing work on vacation, it sends a message that others must follow. And we know that long term that’s not good for you or them.
#2. Allow for a flexible schedule. We all have lives outside the office…people gets sick, have emergencies, etc. Some of us can work remotely while others may be able to work late or on a weekend to make up the time. Allowing flexibility puts your mind (and employees) at ease knowing the work will still get done.
#3. Encourage vacations. One week off a year is just not enough; not for anyone. Keep your productivity high and high for your employees by promoting a work hard and enjoy life motto. You could even adopt a “use it or lose it” policy to really motivate yourself and your team to take time off from work for self-rejuvenation.
#4. Encourage short breaks during work. Most of use cannot stand or sit still for eight hours, or even four hours straight. It’s not good for your mind or your body. Allowing time to go to a quite space, take a short walk, do stretches, converse with others, etc. means less burn out and more productivity long-term. And in the words of Tim Ferriss, “Focus on being productive instead of busy.” Spending 45 minutes of intense focus followed by a 15-minute break will get you miles further than staring at your screen for hours on end.
#5. Allow for unpaid leave for major life events. Again, we all have lives outside the office. Emergency family needs or time needed for personal growth, like education, may be advisable even when it doesn’t qualify under the Family and Medical Leave Act. While this would be on a case-by-case basis, whether it is for yourself or your employee, make sure to determine the benefits both personally and professionally.
Remember, taking time for yourself and encouraging time for your employees to do what they love and take time that they need, makes a more confident, content and focused person in work and in life. This is one big step in creating a healthy company culture.
As a business leader, another important way to re-focus and re-charge is to take a Clarity Break™ — a regularly scheduled break to relax and focus on “the big picture,” i.e. your vision and goals for the company. With that said, it’s summertime! Go and enjoy it.