Most of us managed to take some time off over the Christmas and New Year period. For some, it’s already a distant memory. For others, we’ve learnt again that not all vacations are created equal. Sometimes, we feel recharged, sometimes we return to work more tired than when we left.
It’s only when we take a moment to think about it and analyse what went well and what didn’t, that we can start to improve how we take breaks. Being smart and intentional about the way we plan breaks and the way we use our precious time off is absolutely essential to maintaining our wellbeing.
So, how did you do over the holiday period? How recharging was your time off?
Take a moment and give yourself a holiday recharge score from 1 – 10. (1 = bad, 10 = great)
A score of 1 would mean your holiday was exhausting and returned to work with less energy.
A score of 10 would mean you felt totally recharged by your time off and felt excited to be back at work.
Think about it…. What’s your holiday recharge score?
For me it was a 6. I already know all the research on this and I still only managed to get a 6. I get it – it’s hard to get it right. If you want to hear my story and what I learnt over this period, subscribe to my newsletter. I’ll be sharing why I only gave myself a 6 and what I’d do differently in my next edition.
How do we improve our holiday recharge score?
In a world where the 85% of people aren’t engaged in their work, it’s never been more important than now to ensure we don’t waste our time off. Work drains our energy – mentally, emotionally, physically. If you don’t like your job, that energy drain is amplified even more. Optimising our time off – whether that’s a few days, weeks or months, is one of the best ways to recharge yourself and keep your energy levels in balance.
Life is about energy management – keeping balance between what takes energy from you and what gives you energy
Here’s a simple Recharge Model, based on research on the psychology of leisure time, that will help you incorporate all the elements of a recharging break into your time off.
It all starts with understanding what works for you and what doesn’t. There’s no point going on someone else’s idea of a recharging holiday. If the idea of meditating with monks sounds like bliss to you – great! Go do it! If that’s about as attractive to you as watching paint dry – then don’t.
The only way to know for sure is to think deeply about how recharging your previous holiday was and what you can do about it for your next holiday. Consider:
1) What was your last holiday’s recharge score (1 = bad, 10 = great)
2) Think about what worked well, what didn’t
3) Apply the Recharge Model – what did you need more of/less of?
4) Intentionally plan your next break using your insight to optimise your recharge value
5) Take your break and return to work with energy to burn!
I cover all this and more in the Recharge your Breaks workshop. I help companies keep their employees recharged in this interactive workshop where we cover:
1) The neuroscience of why we need to take a break
2) Fuelling our productivity with different types of breaks
3) Getting maximum recharge value from time off
4) How to be more strategic in planning breaks
5) Create a recharge action plan with an accountability check-in
The workshop is delivered face to face or virtually and helps employees get more intentional about how they plan and take breaks. Get in touch if this is something your company would benefit from.
Everyone can improve on the way we use our time off. Time is our most precious nonrenewable resource, so let's make sure we do it right.
Beyond a Break exists to help people and organisations stay recharged and thriving.