Take the Day Off! It’s Good for Business

Now this is different . . . a day in the middle of the week with nothing pressing.  A half-day meeting got cancelled at the last minute; the Internet at the office isn’t working; no client sessions are scheduled; it’s 92 degrees in Reno, NV and it’s the last week before my college-age daughter returns to school on the east coast.  So an idea floats up as I’m driving home from work . . . how about just taking the day off tomorrow and heading up to our beautiful Lake Tahoe.  So the next morning an ice cooler is packed, beach towels and suntan lotion are thrown in and we’re ready for “Road Trip!”.

Of course, the daughter is a bit less enthusiastic about rising at the crack of dawn and keeps asking “But what are we going to do?”.  As I hustle her into the car, I explain that on a true road trip you don’t know what you’re going to do until you’re doing it.  And that’s exactly what we did . . . cinnamon crepes in Tahoe City and then a look at the map to say let’s do something we’ve never done before.  So around the lake we go.  And we wind up hiking to the Vikingsholm – a magnificent  Norwegian castle on Emerald Bay at Lake Tahoe.  Then on to an early dinner on the deck of my favorite lakeside restaurant and rolling back down the mountain to Reno by sunset.  A wonderful way to finish off our “delicious” day.

Delicious Days Are Good For Business

A “delicious day” is a day just for you – to rest and renew – that is slipped in between normal busy work days.  As Americans, we tend not to give ourselves permission to take those days especially when economic times are tough.  We push harder making each business day a bit longer and hopefully more productive.  But actually when we take the time to slow down and relax the endless chatter in our heads we are really far more creative, flexible and productive.  It’s the best thing we can do for our own businesses, our customers and our employers.

Alternate Work with Rest

One of my favorite books Full Engagement describes fascinating research that shows how high performing athletes (and workers like us) do far better with alternating periods of intense activity/training with downtime.  I’ve used this research many times in workshops and people are always intrigued.  It makes sense.  As humans, we simply are not made to physically and mentally perform at 110% every day all day.  We simply can’t do it and be at our best.  But if we take a lesson from professional athletes and alternate highly focused work times with real relaxation we can actually bring much more value, skills and talents to our work.  Think about it and then take that day off!


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