As a leadership and life coach, one of my favourite questions to offer clients is ‘what are you role modelling?’ I often receive the reply – ‘I really care about my team’s well-being, so I tell them to take time out and relax, not do what I do!’ The very idea of needing to take spreadsheets on holiday speaks to a pattern of work that is out of balance. What is behind the reluctance to stop – really stop – and re-charge? For many of us, the truth is that there is an addiction to being always on and always available that can be such a hard pattern to break. But we all know deep down that this is a myth and an unhealthy one at that. Moreover, it sends out a message to our teams that they can’t be trusted to get on with things without us.

We all know the perils and pitfalls of working too hard – our workplaces all have ‘wellness strategies’ and urge us to look after ourselves – and yet – so many of us still find it hard to do in practice. In today’s world more than ever that includes creating clear boundaries. Learning to listen to our bodies – the biological limits of our physiology and remember that all of us need time for ‘R&R’ (rest and recuperation). It’s why I talk about the concept of ‘enough’ – where we see limits and boundaries as containers that enable us to flourish. Our energy and productivity will always be better served by proper time dedicated to ‘sun, sea and STOP!’

First published in Forbes.

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