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Take Vacations: Real Ones

· Communication,Time Management,Work Styles,DiSC,Expectations

At a recent dinner party, the conversation led to cultural work expectations. One party guest stated that he receives even more contact from the owner of his company while on vacation and unfortunately, he responds to it.

Theoretically, it’s counter intuitive to the fact that while technology is enabling us to work more productively, if we don’t control it, it can become invasive. We need to find compromise in setting boundaries. Work can be stressful, stress can weaken our immune systems; weakened immune systems call cause illness, sometimes even disease. Complete disconnection allows us freedom, time to reflect completely, time to recharge our physical and mental “batteries” which in turn will lead to greater creativity. Bombarding ourselves and our employees with stimuli, with requests, with information, with timelines, while they’re on vacation precludes this recharging from happening. Those who truly can enjoy their vacations can be more energized, more positive and refreshed, with new perspectives.

About 10 years ago, a coaching client stated that he felt that he was expected to work 50-60 hours per week in his full-time position. As we worked together, he took on a new position with that attitude. I asked him how he felt about it and he reiterated that he believed it was expected. When we examined how he spends his time and found pockets of inefficiency, he decided to make changes. He came to realize that he was allowing it based on his perception and he changed his viewpoint. In our post-COVID world where many are working remotely full-time or in a hybrid format, managing these boundaries has added new challenges. Per your DiSC(R) style, those having more "D" are more likely to cross others' boundaries, while those having more "S" (opposite to the "D") would be more likely to accommodate. Those who are most likely to both cross these lines and also be just as likely to respond would be those who have more "I", while those having more "C" (opposite to the "I") would be the most likely to not intrude and even resent the intrusion.

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When I hear friends, acquaintances, or coaching clients claim that level of being available is expected of them, I truly understand that it is. Another party guest reminded us that we all make choices every day. Responding to someone else’s ideas of urgency and importance are not always in our own best interests. We have historically improved working conditions over the last century in the Western world to reflect safety and better health. What about our mental health?

“Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.” - Lin Yutang