Travelers, it is late. Life’s sun is going to set.
During these brief days that you have strength,
be quick and spare no effort of your wings.
An accountant from Memphis I used to coach told me in one of our earlier sessions, “I’m thinking about taking two weeks off. I’m sure I’ll pay for it later.”
I replied, “If you don’t take time off, you can be sure you’ll pay for it later.”
Many people share Francis’ thoughts about “time off.” It’s a very limited outlook. Why? Because time off is really “time on” other dimensions of your life besides your career.
One of the primary problems the executives I coach face is they can’t take time for themselves or the people they love. They always feel they’re ‘too busy,’ or that taking a vacation would be ‘selfish.’
This week, try making a list of the true price Francis (and you) will pay for not taking time away from work.
Here are a few of the adverse side-effects you can anticipate from neglecting to take “time on” the non-work areas of your life: disconnection from your values and priorities, damaged or even lost relationships as others (rightfully) give up on your playing a consistent role in their lives.
Then of course there’s the lost productivity at work because you’re cutting with a dull blade. Productivity requires cognitive space to revisit and improve work processes—in other words, “time off.”
Then of course there’s the assortment of vices and illnesses that accompany self-evasion: excessive drinking or drugs, petty arguing, physical or emotional infidelity, headaches, ulcers, emotional bankruptcy…the list goes on.
After reviewing your list, schedule some “time on.”
Anthony Silard is the president of The Global Leadership Institute and the author of the Simon & Schuster book The Connection: Link Your Passion, Purpose, and Actions to Make a Difference in the World. To receive Smile, It's Monday every other week in your inbox and a free copy of Anthony's new audio CD, "The Surprising Source of Your Passion", enter your email here (1-step only).