Given that we live in a stressful world, where we are often going full tilt and have many commitments and responsibilities, it is important to take time off. Stop the merry-go-round, take a break, do something totally different, something out of your ordinary work routine. It is a wonderful way to revitalize and re-energize.

Employees who don't take breaks from work, tend to be more stressed and as a result their productivity declines. Perhaps they believe they can't "afford" time away from their job. The reality is you can't afford not to take time.

Summertime is often the time when we have a chance to take a vacation. Many businesses slow down so it is a natural opportunity. Of course when people are off, it can put added pressure on those who are still working. This however should not prevent you from taking a holiday.

One key to creating a successful holiday is to plan ahead. Schedule your vacation time when there might be a lull in your industry or at the end of a project. If you need to coordinate vacation times for your team, create a master schedule and have everyone reserve their time. As a manager you need to set the standard and act as a role model. Establish your own holiday breaks and help your team establish appropriate vacation routines. If you have a team member who has trouble taking time off, you will need to help them schedule time away from the office.

Delegate responsibilities so that people can cover for each other or defer tasks until you or they return. If we assume that people in the workplace are indispensable, we are creating a problem. Leave a voice mail and email message stating you will be away from the office and when you will return. Clients and colleagues appreciate the consideration and know what to expect.

There is no one set way of taking time off. Some people plan long week-ends or organize their schedule so that they have a ½ day or full day off mid week. Many golfers build this into their schedule. However it has been found that people generally need a minimum of 5-7 days away from the office, in order to fully relax.

Many people take vacations, but don't really take a break. They take their computer, palm pilot and cell phone with them. They check in constantly and never get the opportunity to relax. This is not a vacation. This deprives you and your travel companions the opportunity to really enjoy yourselves. Ask yourself if the need to remain connected is self-imposed or the expectation of your company. Either way you need to make some decisions about how you want your vacation to happen.

Challenge yourself to take a week without contact from the office. You actually might relax, clear your head and return to work with renewed vigor. Enjoy yourself!

Copyright 2008, Gail Solish. All rights reserved.

Author's Bio: 

Gail Solish, provides Executive/Personal coaching to managers, directors and executives focused on workplace development and relationship management.
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