Are you feeling a sense of foreboding? An unshakable dread that someone from work will … need you … to do something … during the holiday break?
Or immediately before? Or (shocked face emoji) immediately afterwards, which just ruins everything anyway?
True fact. Work creep is real. “I’ve got to take this,” we say when a call comes in during dinner. “I’ll be right there,” we shout as our thumbs reply to an early a.m. text. And weekends? Weekends are no longer sacred. They’re just pre-Mondays piled high with pressures for pending projects. Augh!
As adults, pauses are our playtime. And play is absolutely critical to our performance as leaders. According to a study in Scientific American,
“Free, imaginative play is crucial for normal social, emotional, and cognitive development. It makes us better adjusted, smarter, and less stressed.”
Did Dexter play? No he did not. All he did was work. Chop, chop, chop. My point exactly.
So. Craft the perfect OOO message. Push those meetings to December. And give yourself permission to watch a stupid movie. Giggle with the kids. Go for a walk. Stuck inside? You could try…
- Pico Iyer’s talk on The Art of Stillness. There’s also a book, if you like to read.
- This recipe for buttery mashed potatoes, which is discouraged by 5/5 cardiologists.
- This far out 360º film which may send you down a VR rabbit hole, but who cares.
- This blissful playlist or this three-hour “primordial sound of the universe” track.
- This Zen master’s book on the power of silence or Oprah’s top meditation apps.
When you come back, come back with intention. Give yourself time to breathe. Try to do a little less, but better. Be bold, set boundaries. Let some things be outside of your control. And find new ways to mix work and play.
That is all. Have a ridiculously unstructured Thanksgiving, my friends! Before you go, let me know how you plan to play…