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Re-energize, Re-Focus & Re-Engage

I had hit a wall.  Like many of you, I had been flat-out at work managing multiple projects and priorities.  I hadn’t taken much time off in the past year as I kept forging ahead with work projects and deliverables.  Due to some staffing gaps in our department, I was always a bit “afraid” to take any amount of significant time off.  I was always worried that things that were supposed to happen, wouldn’t and vice versa.  I had convinced myself that there was no way I could take any more than a couple of days off as things would come to a grinding halt in my absence (within HR).

VacationHere is the thing, upon reflection, I am not sure I was doing my “best” work.  We all hit that point where we need some time off.  For some of us it takes a short while to reach that point and for others it takes a bit more time.  I am one of those types (confirmed through Disc, Myers Briggs, etc.) that tends to pour a lot of time, energy and focus into my work in intense stretches.  I push hard, I drive myself to do and be the best that I can, but without proper refresh rates, it catches up to me.  I need those periods of rest so I can go back and attack my work again.

So, with great trepidation, I booked a family getaway vacation so we could all be together to re-energize after a very long winter.  Instead of fretting about the things that needed to get done if I was away or even simply planning to just take my laptop and work remotely, I focused on closing off what I could, delegated what could be delegated and developed support channels for our operations partners during my absence.  This was a total mindset switch for me, but one that was necessary in order to have a proper vacation.  I focused on proper planning so that I/we could have a great vacation and so that I wouldn’t be worrying about all the “what-ifs” when I was away.

Here’s the thing, I took the longest vacation I have taken in years (1.5 weeks.)  I relaxed, re-energized and came back re-focused and re-engaged on/in my work.  The funny thing is that the HR department didn’t fall apart in my absence.  Our operations partners were still able to function and life went on.  Once I accepted the fact that perhaps I simply wasn’t as “important” as I thought I was, I could take a proper vacation!  I work with great people so there is no way that my absence for 10 days would cause things to come crumbling down.  If it did, shame on me for not developing my people and for not establishing and leading an effective HR department!

So my advice to you, if you have been putting off taking a vacation due to similar reasons that I was (like the ones identified above.)..don’t.  Take time for yourself.  Re-charge those batteries – you need it.  Trust me, you will better off for it as will your team, your department and your company.  Everybody wins.  So go ahead, do yourself a favour and take that time off – you deserve it!  As always, I welcome your comments and feedback.

Photo courtesy of Africa/freedigitalphotos.net

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