“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it – including you” – Anne Lamott
Remember when you were younger and in school and you couldn’t wait for summer? Once the calendar turned to May you were reminded that the end of the school year was near and the lazy days of summer were ahead! If you were anything like me, you would keep a countdown calendar marking off the days one by one.
The thing about summer vacation was it gave you a forced amount of time to recharge and refresh your mind – even if you were too young to realize what that meant. You could unplug from the daily grind, sleep in, enjoy the things that you loved to do without the added pressure of work; it was a glorious time to enjoy life.
Once you are out of school and summer is just another three months of the calendar year, you don’t get that forced break from work. You have to take it for yourself – and as leaders, that can be very hard to do!
I’ve always been envious and fascinated with the European idea of going on “holiday”. They take four weeks off in the summer and think nothing of it. As the saying goes, “they work to live, not live to work”. Slowing down and enjoying their lives is the normal and not the exception. And, the best part is that when they return from “holiday” their businesses have survived – their world didn’t stop spinning because they pressed the pause button at work.
In other parts of the world, they adopt a similar attitude. My daughter lives in Costa Rica and they live by the motto, “Pura Vida,” meaning simple life, or pure life. No worries, no stress, and be thankful for what you have. Life is meant to be savored and enjoyed.
As leaders in our organization it’s easy to get caught up in the hamster wheel of work and forget to slow down and savor life. We are responsible for creating success in our organizations, leading a team of people, providing growth and opportunity – sometimes it seems that if we lift our foot off the gas pedal, the entire organization will slow down. I know I felt that way!
However, I’m here to tell you what I learned over the many years of leading my company – it is okay, actually necessary, to take some time away from the organization to slow down. You shouldn’t deny yourself a summer season and a chance to refresh your mind and unplug – and that goes double if you are feeling overwhelmed. In the end, that time away will actually be good for you and your organization. Think about it this way, when your computer is acting up and not functioning properly, what is the first thing that we do to reset it? We turn it off and unplug it! It’s the same thing with people.
So, take this as an encouragement and a reminder to enjoy your summer months – turn it off and unplug! Even if it’s only for a long weekend (or two) and not a four week holiday.
Remember that life is meant to be lived, business will go on, and you’ll be ready to face the rest of the year with a refreshed mind.
Countdown on… Pura Vida!!
For help on getting your business to the point where you can unplug without hesitation, consider collaborating with Greenlight Leadership Consulting Group. Our trusted business advisors are here to help. It’s lonely at the top, but it doesn’t have to be. Greenlightleaders.com