Time out is Time In

Sections of this topic

    ‘Tis the season for vacations and preparing children to go back to school. I heard a woman recently proclaim that she has too much work to do to take time off. It’s a common complaint. Yet, just as getting an oil change every 3-4 months keeps the engine running smoother, so too we need time away to keep renewed and in good mental, emotional, and spiritual condition. Otherwise we run the risk of being tired, stuck in a rut, not gaining perspective, or just plain bored.

    Time out is Time in. Vacations allow you to come back with greater energy to face your tasks and challenges. Stepping away from work allows you to see your work with fresh eyes and gain new perspective on what is important. You can see more clearly what work adds values vs. wasted busy work. Sometimes just having extra time to read or think away from the office, you find a solution or work through a problem that has been weighing on you.

    Taking time off to renew your spiritual soil is important time so you don’t feel depleted. Even if you take an afternoon to go fishing or go to a spa, that is helpful to renew your spirit. Tending to your spiritual soil, keeping it nourished helps you keep centered, focused on your values and priorities, and invigorated to face your tasks.

    I knew of a company where two VPs didn’t like each other and didn’t work well together. The CEO saw their conflicts over time disrupt meetings and hinder business success. He told them if they wanted to keep their jobs they needed to spend one day a month together doing something they both liked doing away from the office. The two VPs weren’t too happy about mandatory time off together.

    It took two months to find an activity that they both enjoyed doing and felt they could do for 8 hrs with each other. It took another 3 months before the men were able to talk openly about their backgrounds and share more personal information with each other. By the end of the year the men realized they had similar life experiences and learned to approach their challenges in different ways. They learned to respect each other’s different approaches and saw that they each had something to offer the company. After this one year experiment getting to know each other away from work, they were able to bring their differences and new perspectives back to their work in a productive way. Their teams aligned better and worked more cooperatively with each other afterwards. This was time away that led to millions of dollars saved in improvements to work flows and greater revenue generated by more customer retention. Time Out was recouped thousands of times over.

    1. What will help you recharge your energy and gain better perspective?

    2. What teams need re-charging so that they can work more effectively together?

    3. Where do you go to till your spiritual soil so that you can be more grounded?

    As you move into the busy fall activities, remember to take time away, even if for a day, to renew yourself or your team. It will support your personal foundation and your work if used intentionally for greater renewal and regeneration.

    May you walk the Beauty way in the months ahead. Aho!


    For more resources, see our Library topic Spirituality in the Workplace.