Pressing Pause

Welcome back!

With the 4th of July falling smack in the middle of last week, many Americans seized the opportunity to spend some quality time away from work to decompress, recharge, and rediscover what is really important to us.

What does your time off have to do with your work? Everything!

If simple enjoyment isn’t reason enough for you to take an occasional pause, think about this very bottom-line, productivity-enhancing reason: You are more effective and get better results when you are fresh.

Even when you LOVE your work, you can become stale. Work starts to feel like work in the pejorative sense of the word. When you sleep enough, spend time with family and friends, see new sights, experience an adventure, you gain a fresh perspective on your work. You are more creative and rediscover the excitement and fun of working hard, accomplishing, and winning.

Remember, the opening scene of Joe v. The Volcano? Employees trudged into work in sync with a depressing beat. Everything was gray , everyone resigned to a life of sheer boredom and mediocrity. Nothing worked, not even the hat rack.

Is this the life you want?

Of course not!

What you want is to be creative and excited about your work, energized when you are with clients and colleagues, and ready to tackle challenging issues. In the movie, Joe thought he was going to die so he decided to quit his mediocre job and life to have an adventure. He came alive, confident, and bold — not gray.

You are not capable of producing outstanding results when you are tired and gray. It takes more energy when you already pushed yourself to produce mediocre results than to produce outstanding results when you are fresh and engaged in your work.

Not only is it important to pause for longer periods of time — such as when you are on vacation — but it is equally important to devise strategies for pausing on a daily basis. This means that when you are with your family and friends, really be there. Give your smartphone a rest for a few hours, even if you check it before going to bed.

If something comes up, ask yourself, “Does this need to be handled tonight, or can I more effectively deal with it in the morning, when I am fresh?”

I bet you didn’t even need to pause before answering.

And once you’ve come back rested and ready to tackle something new, sign up for The Workplace Toolkit Virtual Training Course with our Summer School Special! Regularly priced at $547, now just $97 with the code “SummerSchool.”