Considerate Colleague

Vacation, Holiday, Give Them A Break


In a previous post, I wrote about the importance of taking time off from your daily routines and truly resting your mind and body.  We all know these times as vacations or holidays.  I urged managers, coaches, and parents to remember the importance of these breaks.  Make sure that those you lead, or parent,  get real true breaks.   Leaders of all kinds can sometimes forget the long term benefits of people truly shutting off.  Everyone is too focused on the short term.

Today I am repeating that message and sharing a note I received from a reader.  It is a message not just for leaders but for everyone.

“I guess I am “one of those people” [who don’t shut down] but you have not heard from me because I have decided to be less electronic this vacation.  Twice per week for work e-mail and I answered only three of them….one was to my boss and the others to colleagues.  This is one thing that you never touched on…supporting your colleagues when they take time off so they can actually relax and know that their clients and work are being looked after.”

It feels good that some people hear my pleas and “help me help you” more broadly.

Son of a Postman


  1. Harry G said:

    I like the idea of regular rest better than a gob of vacation once or twice a year – a gob (because of your or someone else’s schedule) you are obligated to take and enjoy at some predetermined time, like it or not, regardless of how you feel or what your situation is at that time.

    By regular rest I mean daily periods of blocking out the environment in some quiet place: a place with no input and no output; a place where personal vegetating is possible. Conscious rest is much better than unconscious sleep. How many times have you slept the entire night (or day) and awakened more tired than when you fell asleep? Sleep and rest are NOT the same.

    Given, everyone’s days and situations are different, but what works for me is getting up early (3:30 – 4:00), having a cup or two of coffee, and then intentionally resting, i.e., getting into that delicious state between consciousness and sleep for an hour or two. I submit that RESTING and KNOWING that you are resting, is more restful than sleeping and not knowing it.

    During the day, if you can manage it, grab ten or fifteen minutes of “block out” (not black out) time. You can spare ten or fifteen minutes for a critical phone call; why not spare the same for your own well being.

    Many of you are high performance folks, but I think (depending again on your individual situations) that your mileage will be better of you don’t have your foot on the floor every conscious hour. Years ago my mentor advised me to “Slow down and you’ll get done sooner.” For me, it works most of the time.

    July 23, 2014
  2. Great point made. It is so important to have the support of your colleagues when you DO finally take a vacation. If you are working in “the right place” you will truly know it by everyone else’s actions. If you are working in “the wrong place”, you know you’ll be made to feel terribly stressed out when you are away. That’s shameful, particularly when you’ve earned that time.
    Now….where’s my sunscreen?

    July 22, 2014

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