Why Your Work Doesn’t Matter As Much as You Think
Lately, I have noticed a bit of a trend. Many folks I know are choosing to forego a vacation. And I’m not talking about those who are choosing a “staycation” instead. I’m talking about folks who are choosing to NOT take a break at all.
No week to putter around the house.
No day to just go hang at the beach (or the mountains, or wherever).
No time to attend the annual family reunion, friend reunion, or social gathering of whatever sort.
No opportunity to be anywhere other than at work, doing work, thinking about work.
Folks, if you fall into this category in any way, shape or form, imagine me standing in front of you, with my hands firmly on your shoulders and telling you flat out to STOP. THE. INSANITY.
I can hear you now:
“I’ve got so much work to do.”
“I’ve got deadlines to meet.”
“My boss is breathing down my neck.”
“If I don’t do the work, nobody else will do it right.”
“If I go on vacation I’ll just have a pile of things to do when I get back -- I’ll wish I’d just stayed put.”
As true as these reasons might seem, they aren’t good enough to justify your lack of time away from work. Because here’s the actual truth: the work will still be there when you get back.
That to-do list you’re waiting to finish? It never actually ends.
Those folks that need your input so badly? They will never learn to do anything on their own if you’re always there to bail them out.
And in the meantime, your energy is continually depleting so that eventually, you will be forced to take a break -- and it may well look like a hospital stay of some sort (I’m not being dramatic; I’m being real).
Moreover -- and I know you don’t want to believe this -- you are replaceable. No matter who you are, how specialized your skill-set, how well you do your work, trust me: there’s someone else who can do it too. In fact, if you were to leave your job tomorrow for whatever reason, it wouldn’t be all that long before your position would be filled.
As you contemplate the veracity of everything I’ve just shared, here’s more I want you to consider. All those people you’re putting off because you’ll see them some other time? Some other day? Maybe at the next event? Those people aren’t going to wait forever. No matter how loyal and patient they are, their lives are marching on too, time is marching on, and by the time you tell yourself you have the time, it may well be too late.
I know, this article isn’t the sort of message I usually deliver. But folks, I am seeing too many of you sequester yourselves in the halls and offices of your work, giving yourself over to the demands of that same work, and as you do so you are missing the important opportunities in your life.
The opportunity to be with folks you care about (and who care about you).
The opportunity to experience more than just the energy of your workplace.
The opportunity to rest and restore yourself.
The fact is, work will always be there. These opportunities will not.
Bottom-line: it’s time for you to take a break. Stop waiting for another day, another year, another time. This life is way too short, and that is truth, not just a cliche. The opportunities to take a break are limited. This is not a scarcity mindset -- this is the recognition that in actual fact, you’ve only got so much time to spend. Stop spending it on only ONE thing that matters (and yes, work does matter) and spread the wealth. Spend your time on ALL the things that matter, including time for yourself and time with others. Because knowing how and when to take a break is the key to being truly successful and having a meaningful impact.