The summer months (which are pouring with rain) create the perfect excuse to get away and recharge our batteries. But how many times have we found our minds wandering to the office and our ever-growing to-do list?
Living in a connected world it’s far too easy to ‘quickly’ check our emails at the beach, or pop outside during a dinner to pick up a work call (or two). However, it is not only important to be present for the people we are with, but for our wellbeing too.
Our founder Pat Lynes shares his top tips on how you can take a step back from work and make the most of your holiday…
Take holidays when you need a break
Too often I see execs who are stressed because they are not taking the time out they need. By taking regular breaks it will allow you to be removed from your daily stresses and more often than not, come back feeling energised and excited to get stuck back into work.
I believe in leading by example, so try to get away every 10 weeks to reset my mind and to make sure I am spending quality time with my family. By stepping away it allows me to get perspective and my intuition kicks in, meaning I come back more motivated, inspired and clearer in my thoughts.
Prioritise what’s important
There is always something to do. Aside from meetings and calls, we also have to negotiate time to tackle the actions on our lists. In our days, weeks and months at work, preparation is key and it’s no different when we go away.
A week or two before going away, decide what actions take precedence and need to be done now and which ones can be left for your return. Be strict on yourself but still allow a level of flexibility for any last-minute pressing issues that may fall into your lap. I try my hardest to approve or action work that my team can be getting on with while I’m away, so I’m not blocking any of their progress.
Have trust and delegate
Trust in the team around you and have the courage to delegate. By being a subservient leader who commands and controls you will feel overstressed, which will no doubt trickle down to your team.
At S&S we encourage autonomy, but when we say it, we actually mean it. We allow our people to continuously grow, by offering them the opportunity to wear many hats. I also trust them to be experts in their field and to naturally follow their instincts, which breeds a self-governing environment that can operate independently. This means when I do go away, the business keeps ticking along and more often than not I come back, there is exciting, innovative work waiting for me to look over.
Share the load
If you have too much on your mind, take the time to write down your thoughts or talk to someone who genuinely cares about your well-being and you can openly share your thoughts with – it could even be a family member or a friend that you’re away with.
By writing down, or sharing the load, it will ease your busy mind and help to resolve any issues or work thoughts that may be festering throughout your trip.
Read and learn
If you struggle to fully ‘switch off’, then step away from office work and spend some time building your knowledge or even your brand. Being distant from the daily grind creates the perfect environment for creativity and the absorption of knowledge. Pick up a book you’ve been wanting to read for a while, write a couple of blogs which you can stagger out on LinkedIn over a few weeks or months, or even research a topic that has interested you but you haven’t had time to fully embed yourself in. You could even take this one step further and speak to someone who may offer a new perspective.
It could even be a good opportunity to reflect on what the next level is for your career. Maybe you want more flexibility in your working day or the opportunity to utilise your knowledge across multiple opportunities? It could be time for you to be an interim or even go portfolio. If you’re interested in finding out more about these types of opportunities, feel free to drop me an email and I’d be happy to meet for a coffee.