We all take our jobs seriously. It's a daily grind and, though hopefully, you love your job, it can become taxing when you don't take time for yourself. I know I struggle to step away from the office and take vacations, even when my manager asks me repeatedly to do so.
So why does he keep pushing me to take time off? Why is it so important?
If work consumes your life, you will, eventually, burn out. It is inevitable. I work in a creative field for a living, and that area requires my artistic side to stay always plugged in. Writers get writer's block. Designers lose inspiration to design. Constant meetings, deadlines, and expectations begin to weigh us down, no matter what our job is. Taking a step back to breathe is key to survival in the adult world.
Oh, it's hard, there's no doubt about that!
The constant thoughts and concerns begin running through my mind when I take time off become: if I'm out, will I become a blocker? Will my developers understand the designs that I have given them? If I'm out and my team receives design feedback, when will I find out? Who will defend the work that we've done? The list goes on and on.
To truly step away and relax, to find that proper work-life balance, think about some of the key ways you can leave the office and feel that your team can handle your absence for a day or two.
- Give your team ample notice. At the beginning of each sprint cycle, I look at my schedule, and if I have appointments or vacation planned, I inform the team. If I know that I'm going to be on vacation for a longer period, say a week out of a month, I'll send out an email at the beginning of the month with my plans and how people can reach me.
- Review your work a few days before you leave. If my designs need to be vetted by higher-ups or some people haven't seen it yet, I try to plan ahead and get it in front of them before I leave.
- Ask your team if they need anything before your planned time off. I always check to see what's coming up the pipeline and if it looks like designs are going to be needed, I review with my team
- Turn off your work email and enjoy yourself!
So here's my question to you! What do you do to make sure you find that perfect work-life balance? Have you been struggling with this? Let's figure it out together!