Let me tell you a secret. The world will still keep turning when we’re gone.
The King is dead, long live the King!
This week I received an email from a colleague that was sent at 9:45pm on a Sunday. It wasn’t even anything important, just a general question.
A few years ago that was me.
I was in a near permanent state of worry about what time I got to work, what time I left, whether to book holidays or not. I would often log in from home after the kids went to bed and carry on working.
This is utter nonsense crazy stupid f*ckwit bullshit madness and exactly the type of corporate mind rape I’m passionate about stamping out.
Ever worked with people who don’t use their full holiday allowance?
Once I worked with someone who had only taken 1 day – all year. ALL YEAR!!!
This guy thought he was getting ahead of his peers by spending more time in the office than anyone else.
He thought that the company would love him and reward him for what he put into it.
Actually, everyone just though he was a tit.
What makes us think that we shouldn’t take time out? That makes us think everything would collapse if we don’t check our emails last thing at night and first thing in the morning?
Let’s chant this mantra:
I deserve a break… I deserve a break… I deserve a break…
Yes, we all have busy periods and quiet periods, occasionally work late to meet deadlines or have days where we feel we’ve been chained to the desk and eat lunch at 3pm.
But this shouldn’t be the norm. This should be abnormal and if not, then something is dysfunctional.
Having breaks during each day are equally important as days off.
And guess what – the bottom line is that if we take more breaks we become more productive and the quality of our work improves because we:
1. Refresh our perspective;
2. Take time to ponder over issues;
3. Send fewer annoying emails;
4. Create opportunities to engage with people;
5. Are a more relaxed and calming presence;
6. Get more out of life;
When people collude with the corporate competition to see who can work the most hours then ultimately productivity goes down.
So here’s an action plan for today:
- Take 2 short breaks. Get away from your desk for a minimum of 5 minutes (not including toilet breaks).
- Take a decent lunch break. Go to the gym, for a walk, have lunch with friends, whatever you fancy, but stretch yourself here. Don’t eat at your desk and don’t rush back from the gym then sit sweating like a horse in a Tesco lasagne factory. Take time to cool down and have a shower when you’ve stopped looking like a tomato. (Trust me your colleagues won’t argue with this one.)
- Book time off. I’m serious. Even if it’s 1 or 2 days and not for another 3 or 6 months, it doesn’t matter. Do it TODAY.
I’m pretty sure that the world will still be turning when you get back.
Did you ever hear of someone on their death bed whispering ‘I wish I’d spent more time at work.’?