Yes, you read that title right. In a post-COVID world where remote or hybrid work has become the norm, the lines between work and home are more blurred than ever. This has created a standard of overworking that inevitably leads to burnout.
A few weeks ago, I walked into a meeting with a manufacturing team and instantly felt something was off. I could feel the spark in the air that told me this would be an interesting meeting. Almost as soon as the meeting began, one of the individuals, who was also the co-owner of the business, expressed how deeply he was struggling. It was a situation where this person was working himself to death. After more discussion, I learned that this person had not taken a vacation in five years. The team’s prescription to him was an immediate two-week vacation.
This individual had been working for five years straight. He was stretched too thin and felt the demanding strain of leadership and there was little to no support. He was overcommitting to his work and not committing anything to himself.
Sometimes, self-care should be a Rock (in EOS-speak, that’s a quarterly goal.) When you are at the pinnacle of an industry and have a leadership role, taking care of yourself may seem like a luxury. Not doing so, however, will drag you down and impede your success, your reputation, and your work ethic. It directly impacts your team and the culture of the organization. Being able to put your needs first is an honorable quality in a leader. It shows all your other employees how to take care of themself.
When I prescribe a vacation to a client, I mean it seriously. No refreshing your emails, no taking calls, no updating documents. Truly disconnect from your work and focus on yourself and your needs. An article from Forbes called “How Business Leaders Can Remove A Culture Of Overwork” explains that, “If you show your team with your actions that you take time off, spend time with family, value your own health and prioritize balance, it creates a culture in which other team members will also feel comfortable doing the same”. As a leader, set the tone for the entire organization. Will you choose the heaviness that comes from overwhelm and overwork or the opportunities that come with returning to your A-game?