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Creating Successful Leaders

A few weeks ago, I spent some time with family on the East Coast. We had a few responsibilities and appointments, but in between our little tasks, we laughed, relaxed, swapped stories, and generally enjoyed each other’s company. Stepping away from my responsibilities in Minnesota gave me a little perspective. Suddenly, my list of house projects seemed less important. My coaching work and other responsibilities were less urgent. What mattered most was family and being present for one another.

That’s what happens when you take a break. You allow yourself the space, time, and peace to reflect and gain perspective. You might start to realize what’s truly important in life. You might remember what truly makes you happy.

Taking a break is good for your mental and physical health as well. I’ve read numerous articles on how taking a meaningful break can rejuvenate your body and improve concentration and motivation. One study by a professor at the Wharton School of Business found that when people spent more time on family, community, and self, “their career satisfaction increased by 21% and their work performance (self-assessed) improved by 8%. Happiness with family life grew even more.”

That’s because we’re not meant to work 60 or 70 hours per week. If we go, go, go, chances are, our batteries will quickly become drained and we’ll end up working harder instead of smarter.

That’s why I advocate for taking a break. Make it meaningful. Make it a real break, and not just a “working remotely” situation. Step away from your laptop, your email, your responsibilities. Go somewhere without wi-fi or cell phone reception if you have to! Just take a break. Your body and mind will thank you for it.

MARGARET SMITH IS A CAREER COACH, AUTHOR, INSIGHTS® DISCOVERY (AND DEEPER DISCOVERY) LICENSED PRACTITIONER, AND FOUNDER OF UXL. SHE HOSTS WORKSHOPS FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED CAREER OR PERSONAL GUIDANCE. 
CHECK OUT MARGARET’S ONLINE LEADERSHIP COURSE.

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