Why Downtime Means Less Crash And Burn

You can visualize it now, that perky flight attendant explaining the importance of putting your mask on first in case of an emergency

If you’re responsible for leading people, culture and developing ideas, whether it’s a small start up or a large organization, then taking a step back from your fast paced role isn’t a nicety it’s a necessity in order to create great work and solutions.

You may be like me waiting till the point when someone else says you need to take a break before you breathe and let go of that last meeting,  at that point you’re usually wobbling either mentally or physically. Spending a few days in bed sounds like a good idea at this point because of the sheer volume of tasks you’ve been trying to accomplish.

What we know is that to produce outcomes and collaborations which positively impact others while still making ourselves happy, we need to build in gaps that allow us to think, learn, and connect with others and lessen the overwhelm. You may be saying, who has the time?  The answer is, you do.  A recent article from Scientific America focuses on how productivity and developing better results is linked to not working more hours, but being smarter by etching out much needed down time. I’m not suggesting that you get on the lounger and lie still, but actively schedule time to do more of what you love and in that re-energize, actually making you  better able to help with the people and projects in your circle. You end up accomplishing the tasks that matter most personally and organizationally.

Making space to connect and build community inside and outside of your work culture, so you’re not relying on a “Lone Ranger” model of solving situations that arise is also a critical factor. I’ve recently experienced my own intense and chaotic project and after months of trying to stay in the zone to work through it, it took a nudge from an outside source for me to make time for fun, friends and activities. The results have been much better ideas and a renewed  sense of optimism to take on some of the larger components of the process, and it all started with ensuring my oxygen was tightly secured.

If you’re a leader of people and culture you owe it to everyone to take a moment and schedule down time. This single act sends an incredibly powerful message to everyone, including knowing your limits and what being your best self looks like.

It’s summer and there isn’t a better opportunity to begin experimenting with creating space that leads to innovation. It can be as small as finding 3 min in your day to actively let your mind wander, without digital, to your favourite vacation place. See if your return has you feeling a little more restored and focused.

Wondering how to get started now ? Why not join myself and other People and Culture leaders wanting to reignite curiosity and build skills in risk taking, innovation, and collaboration, while gaining insights on stress reduction and high performance at my one day summer camp. It’s going to be a fabulous hands on experience in extending your leadership skills in the sunshine.  I’ll look forward to having you come out as part of the crew.

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