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The Value of Unplugging

The Value of Unplugging

June 9, 2017

As we enter the summer months, vacation time has come upon us. My advice is “Take It.” Whether you want to travel the world, visit family in a neighboring state, find a new favorite place to play golf or tend to the garden in your backyard, you need to take some time away from work. 

And while you do, it is time to unplug from work – from your emails, voice mail and whatever other connectivity you have. We will be just fine without you checking in.

Being away and unavailable is actually an excellent opportunity for yourself, your co-workers and the organization. By not disconnecting, you do not take advantage of the opportunity to create mental space for yourself to return with a clear mind and focus, to come back refreshed. You will also find out the organization will function very well without you in the vast majority of situations. It happens all the time when people leave organizations quickly and unexpectedly. We get by. This uninterrupted time away also gives you an opportunity to re-invent yourself, to be the co-worker you want to be and the friend away from work others will want to be around. 

Being away allows leaders in the organization to empower their employees to make decisions and trust their judgment, allowing them to become more confident, happier and successful. Instead of waiting for decisions from their supervisor, employees will become more self-assured to make decisions on their own. I am sorry to inform you - and as hard as it may be to admit - disconnecting will not result in the disaster you may think. 

I find that when I am away on personal time (and I turn my out-of-office messages on), I am letting everyone in the organization know it’s okay to take time off and walk away from work for a while. In fact, I encourage it. I may think my presence is important to our organization, but I have learned that perhaps my absence is just as important. I like to think when I’m gone, the organization strengthens.  I do think about work while I am away, which gives me the time to contemplate my actions and contributions, along with the foresight to change things about myself to make me a better worker and leader.

Healthcare is hard work, and many of us live it 24 hours per day. So take your vacation time and go away – or sit in your backyard. And while you do, stop checking your emails. Stop listening to voice mails. Reconnect with yourself and come back refreshed, energized and relaxed.

You deserve it.