This has been an exceptionally busy year and an unbelievable couple of months which have created huge demands on the team. I have been caught up in things and work has become even more critical to my life. Now I admit I can be a bit of a ‘workaholic’ or at least I struggle to switch off. Every year I have holiday days that I have not been able to take and I would rather be in the middle of things at work than watching from the sidelines.
Work is a huge part of my life and I take a lot of personal responsibility for what does and doesn’t happen. I see it as part of the role as head of communications to be on top of things and available – it comes with the job. Before the past few weeks I kept saying how I was fine without holidays and I could continue functioning well.
The past 10 days have been the first break for some time and unbelievably the first time me and my long-suffering other half have been away together in about 15 years. It was an amazing relaxing break but as I explained during tonight’s Commschat it didn’t mean completely switching off from the office. That would be too much. But I kept a watch from a distance and minimised my time checking emails and social media. That was the best way to achieve a work/life balance without creating additional pressure on myself.
Today I returned to work with a spring in my step. The lengthy ‘to do list’ I had was completed before the end of the day and that was despite a number of meetings throughout the day. My productivity level was back to normal and I suddenly realised how much events had taken their toll on me. Before my break I was feeling overwhelmed with things, struggling to see the wood for the trees and achieving nowhere near what I usually can in a 24 hour period. It wasn’t just at work; the impact was felt at home.
I have achieved a moment of clarity where work and life have come into balance and I have been able to recharge my batteries to be operating on full power. We all need that time away from the pressure of modern life and the round-the-clock communication demands. One of the first things I did on my return today was identifying when I should look to take some time out and prioritise my own well-being. Don’t get me wrong I will still be checking social media and email, and would return to the office if an emergency hit. But I will make sure I can recharge to be operating at 100 per cent.