Take a Brain-cation!

A reader writes…

“ Dear, Anita,

I have been working my tail off at work trying to keep up with cutbacks and putting strategies in place to increase productivity. I feel drained and worn out. What do you think would help me recharge my batteries and get myself back in the game?”

Many managers and business owners find themselves becoming slaves to their jobs; 24 hours a day, 7  days a week, they constantly are thinking, doing, or worrying about work. Smart phones, tablets, and laptops don’t make things
any easier.

Making mental lists of the things that have to be taken care of Monday morning, putting together proposals in their mind while trying to get some sleep, and skipping out on events with family and friends to accomplish a project may be a little overboard. Don’t get me wrong — drive and dedication to your profession are great traits, but sometimes it is best for you, your team, and your company to give your brain a break.

David Allen, the author of Making It All Work, Winning at the Game of Work and the Business of Life,  promotes “brain-cations.” He says: “I think productivity is always enhanced when you have the chance to evaluate your life and work from multiple horizons.  Vacations help you from getting too far down in the weeds and provide an opportunity to refresh and restore.

So what can these so called “vital” vacations do for you?

–          Vacations allow us to take a break and help keep burnouts away.

–          Productivity is decreased when workers are overworked, under-rested, and stretched to the limit.

–          Stress levels are lowered when we take time to refresh and rejuvenate.

–          Time to ourselves can promote creativity, giving you an opportunity to freshen up your outlook and come back to work with a new set of eyes to tackle problems that may have been plaguing you.

It may be a difficult task and a terrifying scenario for some… but ladies and gentleman, turn off your business Blackberries, set your email office assistant to “On,” and unplug your brain from business. Keep reminding yourself that the office will not implode or self destruct while you take a little hiatus. Trust in the staff that you have selected and trained to take care of this when you are gone.

For some suggestions of a few places to put your troubles on the back-burner, see U.S. News list of Best Relaxing Getaways in the United States. If an extravagant vacation is not in your future, do something fun close to home. Go camping with friends, book a stay-cation in town, or schedule a spa day or a round of golf with friends.

Where would you want to go on vacation or who out there is taking an interesting trip this year? I would love to hear about them!

Best,

Anita

11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jlb
    Jul 19, 2012 @ 10:26:32

    I once worked in the claims department of an insurance company. There is always something to do… Never the less, we on the front line were empowered to make decisions within guidelines to move things along. The work environment was very productive and enjoyable. We also had an assistant that worked with each of us on the front line. Change in upper management. We lost our assistant, supervisors now had an assistant. Change in procedures resulted in supervisors working many times after hours and weekends. There were now quotas to meet. Do more with less. Anxiety began to set in. When you began to see more and more supervisors working late nights 9pm, 10pm, I’ve saw one working close to midnight. When a supervisor says “there are some moving into management and should not be there”. Quite a sad statment but no one disagreed. Bottom line, there is a such thing as needing a brain-cation due to burnout. Also, I’m changing jobs after almost 13yrs with the company.

    Reply

  2. Elizabeth Maykiu
    Jul 02, 2012 @ 16:41:51

    Anita, what you have just shared is so true. A lot of people forget to give time to themselves. But my husband and I are planning to go to Canada in August for a short break and see what’s on the other side of America. A change of environment would be a great break from our daily routine. Thanks for sharing

    Reply

  3. tweetyheartchina
    Jun 30, 2012 @ 19:54:25

    Hi Anita,
    The blog on top with the man in a suit, a passport in his pocket, and wearing a diving mask has a lot to do. One thing is to modernize. It is impossible to think that having an Ipad is useless. This person does business the old fashion way. Nevertheless, he does not know how to use it. If I had my way, I would find out what is causing the budget cuts. Perhaps it is the purchasing department or the unnecessary bills in accounting. There are many people who need jobs out there and many online companies are not looking for talent anymore. Instead, they are looking for saavy minded people. People like the man in the diving mask. Yes, we need vacation, but delegation goes a long way. Think about the Book called \”Fish\”. When we cooperate with each other, we are able to make more money than King Tuts did in his lifetime. When we work together, we can accomplish more and finish the work faster than we can say, \”yes\”. I know what I\’m talking about. When there is Care volunteer club at work, the head coordinator does not need to attack the Head Manager of the company by wishing he leave the room. Who is she? First, of all she needs to think that there are members of the group that has things to say. She is not alone in this business. This is why \”Fish\” has meaning for those burn-out workers. We need to stick together. The cameraman, the sound board, the speaker, and all others. We need people and we need each other. All is said and done.

    Reply

  4. keila
    Jun 30, 2012 @ 19:53:03

    Hi Anita,
    The blog on top with the man in a suit, a passport in his pocket, and wearing a diving mask has a lot to do. One thing is to modernize. It is impossible to think that having an Ipad is useless. This person does business the old fashion way. Nevertheless, he does not know how to use it. If I had my way, I would find out what is causing the budget cuts. Perhaps it is the purchasing department or the unnecessary bills in accounting. There are many people who need jobs out there and many online companies are not looking for talent anymore. Instead, they are looking for saavy minded people. People like the man in the diving mask. Yes, we need vacation, but delegation goes a long way. Think about the Book called “Fish”. When we cooperate with each other, we are able to make more money than King Tuts did in his lifetime. When we work together, we can accomplish more and finish the work faster than we can say, “yes”. I know what I’m talking about. When there is Care volunteer club at work, the head coordinator does not need to attack the Head Manager of the company by wishing he leave the room. Who is she? First, of all she needs to think that there are members of the group that has things to say. She is not alone in this business. This is why “Fish” has meaning for those burn-out workers. We need to stick together. The cameraman, the sound board, the speaker, and all others. We need people and we need each other. All is said and done.

    Reply

  5. ameliarojas
    Jun 28, 2012 @ 10:39:35

    I also think it’s important to take time off to relax and just get away from the routine, right now because I’m in school I don’t have time for vacation but I do take time off in other ways. What I do is just read and write quite a bit and like to see videos online that have nothing to do with education, I also spend time with family this helps keep me from getting school burn-out :)

    Reply

  6. ameliarojas
    Jun 26, 2012 @ 16:30:24

    Right now I’m grounded working on a Degree in Accounting, but would like to visit Egypt, that’s the destination of my dreams – I am fascinated by Ancient Egypt and everything Egyptcian so that’s one of the destinations I would like to visit in the future. Great article by the way!

    Reply

  7. eric
    Jun 26, 2012 @ 15:41:14

    I went to sea world a while back, it was for only one day, but did seem to be helpful, as far as stress release, some laughter, as well as seeing animals in their naturally, replicated habitat, was also amazing, almost heart warming if you like animals, it was quite enjoyable, and from a male perspective, not staring, however noticing so many beautiful women in one place, makes the environment more attractive, and peaceful.

    Reply

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Anita Clew's blog posts are intended for general guidance and should never be taken as legal advice. In all instances where harassment, inequity, or unfair treatment is believed to be present, please consult your HR Department or legal representation.
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