Let’s talk about focus!
You focus on work, and you focus on rest. I saw a great Twitter comment: “When you work – work fully: No distractions no thoughts about rest. When you rest – rest fully: No feelings of guilt no thoughts about work.”
This is something that I need to improve on, specifically in the rest area. In my younger days, right out of college, I was good at resting; my focus was playing hard and having a good time. As I’ve grown up, built my career and spent all these years with Service Express, I’ve found it harder to decompress at home.
When my kids were young, they all had activities and sports. That was great because it kept me busy. I was coaching them, running them around, and they were my priority.
Times have changed now that they’re older. My boys are off at college, and my daughter is a senior in high school, so I have more free time on my hands. Sometimes I find myself thinking about work too much during my downtime or even jumping on to do more work instead of relaxing.
I have a harder time resting and chilling out. Fall football season has helped me embrace my downtime more, but even still, I can only spend so much time on the couch before I get antsy.
I started to think about my team and our employees. As leaders, we need to give our people the ability to get away and rest. If we’re not resting and instead sending emails trying to catch up on work, our teams won’t be able to rest either. Even if we aren’t looking for a response, sending emails at night or on weekends will distract our people from their rest time.
It’s hard to get away from work these days. Back in the day, you left your PC on your desk and could walk away from it and pick it up the next day. Now with laptops and phones, it’s hard to get away.
One of my executives once said, “I saw your email, and I know I don’t need to respond to it, but now I suddenly find myself thinking about that problem versus enjoying my day off with my kids.” That’s why we as leaders need to be careful to avoid distracting our people from their rest.
Cleaning up our inbox may help us leaders relax, but in doing so, we’re causing our teams to think about work when they should be away, relaxing and recharging. Allowing our teams to rest fully will help them come back to work fresh and ready to go.
Be mindful and focused on rest when you’re away from work. Leaders, support your team’s time away and allow them to rest fully. Then we can all come back together, energized and ready to get after it. As Coach Harbaugh would say, we can attack it “with enthusiasm unknown to mankind.”