Take Time Off

June 2014 blog-hammock

June is such a beautiful month.  It is my birth month and if you believe in all things astrological, June has great significance for me.  Years of being in school and having sons in school make June for me a month of anticipated joy.  I look at the calendar page and smile.  I smell the rich, damp, warmness of sunrise and delight in each new day.  June is the month of long days, sunshine and the cleansing power of rain.

In the metro DC area in which I live and work, June preambles summer months of slower pace and relaxed work attitudes.  Vacations lighten the commuter traffic.  Moods are light in anticipation of time off and picnics.  People are generally in a much better overall mood during July and August.  Even if workloads remain crushing, folks just seem better able to cope with the crazies during this time.

Like many people, I tend to take my vacation time in the summer months.  In our workaholic culture, taking time off in the summer is much more acceptable than during the other seasons of the year.  People may get grumpy when you don’t return calls and emails in a nanosecond, but it would be considered poor form for them to hold it against you.

Which brings me to my annual mini-rant:  take time off in the next three months.  Don’t fall into the “I am too busy” mode.  Time off is expected and accepted in the summer.  Use it to rest, renew and recover.  I find that my productivity and quality of work increases dramatically after I have had time away from work.  I am relaxed and clear-headed and make better decisions and fewer mistakes.

If you are a business leader, stop right now and ask everyone in your organization to tell you their vacation plans.  If you get back any “I’m too busy” push back and insist.  With careful planning, anyone’s job can be covered for a few days or even weeks.  Set the example yourself by leaving early, cutting out on Fridays mid-day and hitting the beach.