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Time for Time out?

This might sound like a weird title for someone who blogs about change and is always writing about doing more, getting results, being pro-active, but thats my question for you;

Do you know when its time to take time out?

I don’t necessarily mean not working at the weekend, not working at night, taking your lunch-breaks or having a coffee (but if you do any or all of these on a regular basis you might need to pay attention here).

Every manager that I know is very busy. I don’t even bother asking that when I meet them any more. Its just a fact of life in our modern, high pace world. You throw in a period of change and all of a sudden you are juggling a few extra balls along with the many things that you were working on all ready. Its no surprise that many change initiatives fall down as a result of managers de-prioritising their change actions. Business as usual throws new challenges, new deadlines, urgent reports, urgent requests and those all need done now, and by the time you get to the end of the day, thats all your day has been.

But I didn’t ask whether you were busy, I asked if you knew when to take time out.

  • Do you regroup your busy managers when you see that initiatives are falling to one side?
  • Do you take a bit of time out to check whats not happening and why?
  • Before you leap in to a new initiative do you take the time to consider whether your team can handle it on their own or whether you need an extra set of hands to help you?
  • Do you recognise the symptoms of your business reaching breaking point and know when to call a time out, time to take a break, re-energise, breath?

And what about you?

  • Do you recognise your own need to take a time out?
  • Do you know the signs that you are feeling the pressure of deadlines, to much to do, feeling out of control, or things not going your way?
  • Do you know when you are not in the best frame of mind for a meeting?
  • Do you know when to go for a walk, take an afternoon to play golf or even do something that is not that urgent or important but it makes you feel good or clears your mind? (thats where I and the time-management gurus disagree by the way. I think we all need the odd moment of doing a task because you like it, just to build your feel good factor or let your brain wander).

When you get on an airplane, the flight attendants run you through a safety briefing. Part of that briefing is to put your own mask on before anyone else’s.
You figured out why? Apply that principle at work yet?
If you are a leader, you are a leader of change. Change brings extra pressure for leaders and teams.

Your people take their cue from you. You are the one that they look to say ‘time out’, ‘lets reflect’, ‘lets kick back and think about this another way’, ‘lets prioritise’

Your people take their cue from you. If you aren’t at your best, what does that say to them?  If you have a bad mood, bad moment what is the impact on the culture?

If you don’t put on the oxygen mask yourself then who’s going to make sure that the rest of the organisation does?

Is it time to take a time-out?

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