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Go On … Put Your Feet Up!

Contrary to popular belief, the path to success is not all about blood, sweat and tears.  Some leaders believe that relinquishing their vacation time will increase their chances of success, not so! The most successful leaders take time off! If you’re guilty of working nights, weekends and holidays, take heed of research carried out by the Australian National University that revealed that the work limit for a healthy life should be set at 39 hours a week instead of the 48-hour-week limit set internationally about 80 years ago and that ‘Long work hours erode a person's mental and physical health, because it leaves less time to eat well and look after themselves properly.’

Taking time off results in increased motivation levels and morale, renewed enthusiasm and energy levels and has a profound impact on both the mental and physical health of everyone. The human body and mind cannot function at peak performance continually without taking time for restoration. When we are refreshed and well rested, we are happier, more focused and energised. When we are in this state we produce quality work and are more driven towards the achievement of goals. If we are overwhelmed and exhausted, out of fuel, we lose our ability to think clearly.

Here are a few of the key reasons why taking time off is good for leadership and workplace productivity:

1. It boosts innovation and creativity   

You may have noticed how a flow of new ideas comes to you when you are away from your normal routine. New experiences expand perspective, bring new inspiration and enhance creative ability. Stepping away from daily pressures and challenges enables both leaders and their team to re-create the mindset required to tap into their creative genius and the wave of innovative ideas needed to bring about results. Routine and familiarity can stifle your desire and ability as a leader to explore and understand.

2. It increases mental power and capacity

A vacation is a powerful tool for resetting and rebooting your mind. Our brains do not have a reserve pool for gathering power and energy. A vacation brings feelings of calmness which relieve stress and allows our minds time to heal, something they’re not able to do in high-pressured workplace environments.

3. It helps to gain a new perspective
Remaining in static environments and situations means we continue to experience the same thought processes. New and different surroundings open up our mind and alter our perceptions. Stepping away from normal work routines enables leaders to develop a broader global perspective. On return to work you bring with you a wealth of new and real-life experiences and ideas.

4. It reduces chances of burnout   

The strain of leadership responsibility and workloads will eventually take its toll on your body and mind. Burning yourself out will only cause harm to you, your team and the company. Under-resting and overworking drains energy and stifles creativity. Smart leaders understand that vacation time is key to both them and their team working at peak capacity.

Remember that as a leader your team draws inspiration and motivation from the example you set. If you are not functioning at your optimum, they won’t be either. A withdrawn leader and team will struggle to meet objectives.

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Posted on Tue, August 07, 2018 in Leadership
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