Claire Celeste Carnes
WCL Strategic Marketing Director
Last week WCL member, Julia Baumann Sarver, blogged about making time for your own self-care. Just in case you had any lingering doubts about whether it’s a good time to take vacation, trust me. It is. Now go pack.
The thing is that, while all of us are probably very good at our jobs, we need to do more than go to work five (or more!) days a week. We need to step away, get some perspective, and focus on something other than moving forward on our objectives.
Having just returned from a very fun week that combined outdoor sports, friends, family, food, and time to read books (yes! Books just for fun!) I can advocate that some perspective and time away works wonders. I came back a little more energized from the fun and the sun.
Don’t just take my word for it, a report from ABC News noted that there are health and productivity benefits from vacations. Yet most Americans don’t even take all the time off to which they are entitled.
No ideas on what to do or where to go or dissuaded by high airline fees or gas prices? Consider time off to take a one-week class in something you’d like to do – photography? Art? Meet up with a different friend each day for lunch or try a new restaurant each night for dinner – there are plenty to choose from. Sign up for a personal trainer at the gym or try a new class there each day, alternating a cardio and strength or stretching class. Or pick a nice, sunny week and spend each day sleeping in, getting up and going to the pool or sitting in the lawn chair on the back patio. It doesn’t have to be about going somewhere but just about a break.
Really can’t resist some working? Pretend to be your customer for a week – go to your stores/outlets or those of your competitor. Talk with others who are doing the same thing and find out what they like, how they make decisions, what they don’t like. Do some secret shopping online (and check out your company’s reviews on sites such as Yelp!) – secret shop in person. I guarantee you’ll come back with some great ideas.
If you truly believe the office will not survive without you, one of two things can happen. It won’t survive, which means you need to hire, delegate or demand a raise (or all three); or it will survive, which calls into question why you were stressed out about it in the first place.
Just getting out of the office gives you fresh perspective, no matter what you do. So the sun is shining, the longer days are only going to get shorter and it’s time to set aside those office chores and get a little break.
If you have a great suggestion for getting away – or just getting perspective – let us know your secret!