As we enter into the Holiday period, it is a good time to stop and think about how to best use this time. From my discussions with great managers and leaders, I see two things that you must do and one that is ideal, but optional.
Spend Time with Family and Friends
Everyone that I have talked to looks at work-life balance as something that needs continuous attention. The goal is not necessarily to bring the two truly into balance. It is to find the balance that works for you.
Sanjay Poonen, COO at VMware – who I recently interviewed for my podcast channel, talks about the three F’s.
I have a certain Northstar as to my life which quite frankly has nothing to do purely with work. My Faith, my Family, and my Friends are the most important stars in my life.
Regardless of exactly what work-life balance means to you – the holidays are a perfect opportunity to work towards the right balance for you. Spend time with your family and friends!
Disconnect, Recharge, and Open Your Mind
In addition to work-life balance, the holidays are a great time to disconnect from work, clear your mind, and recharge your batteries. This is another common message that I heard from the people that I interviewed, and from leaders that I follow.
I like this quote from Reed Hastings, co-founder, Chairman, and CEO of Netflix and on the boards of Facebook and a number of non-profit organizations.
It is helpful. You often do your best thinking when you’re off hiking in some mountain or something. You get a different perspective on things.
And here is one from Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, investor, author, and philanthropist. He lives like this more than anyone else that I know of, and not just during the holidays!
Maintaining focus on having fun isn’t just about rest and recuperation: When you go on vacation, your routine is interrupted; the places you go and the new people you meet can inspire you in unexpected ways. As an entrepreneur or business leader, if you didn’t come back from your vacation with some ideas about how to shake things up, it’s time to consider making some changes.
Most businesses slow down during the holidays. There are typically people working, but far fewer than during the rest of the year. And most companies close down for days to weeks.
This provides your best opportunity to take time for yourself – without falling behind or impacting deliverables and commitments.
Make the best of this time. Disconnect from work. Find a way to recharge your batteries. And look for opportunities to free your mind, let it wander, and create the opportunity to think differently.
Now that you have spent time with family and friends, and given yourself a chance to disconnect, recharge and open your mind. You are ready to look forward.
- Are you happy with the path that you are on, both personally and professionally?
- Are there new opportunities that you want to take advantage of?
- Are you finding the right work-life balance?
- Are there new technologies that you should be leveraging?
- Are there ways to leapfrog the competition?
Having the time to clear your mind will result in new ideas, changes that you want to make, and opportunities to pursue. You may not be able to turn these into something actionable or measurable but decide on a few things that you will go after or do differently.
I do this and it works out amazingly well. I recommend giving it a try.
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