209: Taking Time Off Benefits Your Business and Career


Welcome to episode #209 of the Own Your Best Life Podcast. When you’re a busy professional who either has a corporate career or a business you’re growing, you’re juggling the competing demands of work and your personal life. We know that we’re spending so much time on surface level things and that we need to spend more time doing deeper work or just having time to really attend to our personal lives so that we can focus on our health, family and decisions about what’s next.

Yet, how do you take that time off if there’s so much to do? 

What if you come back and the work you’ve been doing has stagnated? Or, what if you leaving means you’ve lost out on opportunities for promotion or additional income? 

Business professionals often try to cut down on the time they take for vacation or leave so that they can deliver and keep making progress.

You can’t take real time off if you want your career and business to progress, right?

I remember when I started working after undergrad, I would talk to my mom on the phone and she’d tell me that I sounded tired and that I should take a break.

In the same year, I would tell her about a vacation that I am taking and she would ask me, “aren’t you worried that someone is going to take your job?”

It feels like you can’t win.

There’s so much competing information out there on working and taking breaks. 

“Work hard, be the first to arrive and last to leave so that you can get ahead.”

“Rest and take time off because your health, relationships and personal life will suffer.”

No matter what you do, there’s often this pervading sense of guilt. Not doing enough work or not taking enough time to spend with your family or on your health.

Also, if you’re a minority or person of color or a woman – there’s often this subconscious drive to do more because you feel it takes more for you to achieve the same results as someone else.

You might have even tried taking breaks and found that coming back after vacation and leave created even more chaos or that you’ve lost out on a role or opportunity so taking time off again creates more worry.

What if you take a break and realize that you don’t even want to come back or that you’re not happy with your job and want to leave? 

All of this is completely normal.

Yet, we need to change the narrative of disempowerment. There’s no need for you to continue to beat yourself over the head struggling with taking time and growing your career and seeing true results in your work.

This kind of mental drama that comes from thinking about what could have been if you hadn’t taken time off doesn’t help you get the work you need to get done or to show up as the leader you need to be.

It also keeps you from being present – one of the biggests stressors in our life comes from not truly being here with the people and situations that are present right now. 

We are working and wishing we could be somewhere else – on a beach, in another job or resting. 

Or, we are resting or spending time with people we love most and wishing we could be making more progress at work.

Whether you want to or not, you have to learn how to take time off and come back without feeling worse. Managing the pace and rhythm of your life is a skill you can learn. Whether it’s the break you take each evening to sleep, the weekend, vacation or parental leave – there are times when you just have to stop working.

I’ve heard from so many of you that find that transition difficult – and I also know firsthand and with many of the clients I work with what is possible once they feel like they are taking more control of their time and lives.

Knowing how to transition well from work to any kind of break whether it’s the end of the day or a much longer parental leave relieves so much stress and is like a deep-tissue massage for the brain. 

Isn’t it smarter and more intelligent to plan transitions or leave in then to haphazardly stumble into time off or a break? Leaders need to be smart about managing time and resources. They need to think critically about what’s most important and not only that, what the highest and best use of their time is.

When you work constantly and have a hard time taking a break, you’re not just not working – you’re not thinking about your number one asset – you. You don’t get smarter about how to do work more efficiently.

Instead, you are buying results in work through your life span, your time with loved ones, your health and your soul. This kind of leadership is not inspiring to those around you and may even reduce your longevity to lead and live.

You have a hard time with followership – the people who want to continue to follow you wherever you go and whatever you do. Would you want to live life with or work for someone who seems to have a hard time taking time off because they haven’t figured out how to transition well between work and personal life?

You end up perpetuating old ideologies of the value you bring to your work. The ones that tell you that everything is an emergency and that nothing is ever enough so you must overwork. 

We’ve seen through the advancements in technology that anything that is solely measured by man hours is often the first thing we cut out. You are realizing you don’t have the luxury of making the same mistake that others have before you.

It’s not how much time you spend. It’s what you do and how you think critically in the time you have.

More resources go to those who manage resources well. This means not under- or overworking yourself or other people. It means drawing upon more than just time as the number one input into seeing results. 

Sustained high-performance allows you to see results and take time off – which means that it requires a higher level of strategic thinking and less automatic thinking.

So what do you do to take your work and life to a place where you can transition well from time off to work and vice versa? 

One of the steps I teach my clients is to think about who they are and their identity.

Your identity is often tied to work but not in the most helpful of ways. We get stuck in the ego of a title or our paycheck and have a hard time letting go of the way things used to be or what could have been. 

Instead of ruminating and comparing ourselves which leads to not utilizing our time well because we spend more time complaining and defending than solving problems, we raise ourselves to a higher, personal standard of the type of person that you are. One that fits our life, our values and what we think we are here to do on this planet.

We learn how to work with identity in both practical and spiritual ways to create a version of you that finds it easy to make the transition to work and time off seamless.

It’s practical because this identity shift allows you to take on even more responsibility and scope without stressing yourself out. It also relieves the fear of failure that comes from doing more and having more on your plate. It’s spiritual, because you know what to do when the inevitable breakdowns start to happen and how to come back even stronger. Your faith runs deeper and so does your conviction. Those who have deep purpose often are able to sustain beyond the hard times, live a life that is personally fulfilling and become role models for others as well.

It’s not idealistic to shift your identity. This shift allows you to develop the strategies you need to be a highly fulfilled, high-performer who has fun and epic adventures in their life. Someone who takes time off and sees their business and career growing – consistently and on purpose.

Less stress, more time with family, traveling and retreating – all of this becomes available to you again.

You finally feel like you can go on a trip or leave without the sense of guilt or fear looming over you and when you return you have a transition plan to come back smoothly.

Often, when you go away on a trip or an extended leave, you’ll find that coming back is a bumpy road. You have so many emails that you have to read, the dreaded Sunday Scaries are amplified and there’s a sense of feeling like you’ve missed out while you were gone.

We work through a process so that when you transition to and from work, you don’t feel like your brain is so groggy and full of cobwebs heading into or coming back. You have your time structured in a way that accounts for taking time off and you are also clear to yourself that you know why you’re doing what you’re doing.

The more you grow in your career and life experiences, the more that mindset and spirituality becomes a bedrock of how you work and live. Otherwise, you risk taking on other people’s mindset and their beliefs about the goals that are important to them, not your own.

Taking time off to cultivate your own perspective of life and work is necessary – not because you need rest – which you do, but because of what you do in that time and how you use the time not working. 

Life events like a death or health concern will often force that break and time off becomes a necessity. It’s not if, it’s when. 

So I’ll ask you this, do you want to keep waiting for the inevitable breakdown or personal crisis or life event that makes you take time off even when you didn’t plan it?

Or do you want to have a mindset and process that supports you to think strategically about how to transition to and from work so that you can be truly present and available for your family or health when the time comes? 

If you want to take the second route, you’ll want to watch my free training on how to stop hiding and overworking and instead, stand out and lead a life of more time and financial freedom.

If you’d like to choose the latter and become a spiritual achiever, I invite you to watch the free training on how to Stand Out and Lead, using spiritual, high-performance strategies: STAND OUT AND LEAD.

You can apply to join my Spiritual Achiever® program, where you’re going to create your next chapter with spiritual and high-performance strategies to achieve time and financial freedom using my proven method. It’s risk-free. You either start seeing results within your first month or I give you your money back. Schedule your call here at www.mayempson.com/contact.  We’ll see you inside.

Want to know more about what happens when you join?

  1. When you join Spiritual Achiever® Coaching you’ll be supported for a full year: Career Revelation Academy: A 5-step career change process (if you have a job you want to stay in, I’ll show you how to love it even more) that can launch you into your next career chapter in 30 days.
  2. 2x/month group training and coaching on Spirituality, Achievement, Earth Energy and Harmony. You’ll know how to design your days for breakthroughs, create a personal brand and community, lead yourself and others through change, become more physically and mentally fit, reduce stress and reinvent what’s possible in this next chapter of your life.
  3. Discover your Leadership Strengths and Branding Workshop: Increase your awareness of what makes YOU different from others and how to become even better at your genius zone.
  4. Your Best Year workshop: Create your one year plan and design this next year, no matter what time of the year it is.
  5. Your Next 5 Years one-day virtual retreat: Vision what’s possible 5 years from now and break out of your old routines so you can step into new habits, behaviors and routines.
  6. Tickets to all in-person Spiritual Achiever retreats (discounted rates): Highly immersive and intimate gatherings where we spend time in nature, experience energy work, eat and move well – all while making big decisions and committing to what’s next for us.
  7. Monthly 1:1 Coaching Sessions: To help you break through obstacles, define your individual path, and to work on both strategy and mindset.

The next step?

Schedule a consultation to get clarity on how coaching can help you on your journey.

Once you’re accepted into the program, you’ll receive a calendar invite for a 2-hour deep dive 1:1 session to map out your personal goals and your own year-long journey.

You’ll have immediate access to the Spiritual Achiever process and philosophy – how to achieve your biggest goals and reinvent your life.

You’ll have immediate access to 5 modules of Career Revelation Academy – to love your career even more and launch that next chapter of your career in 30 days.

You’ll have the calendar invites for the upcoming group calls and retreats.

If this speaks to you, I can’t wait to talk to you live: Schedule a consultation.

Reach out at www.mayempson.com/contact for more information on my Spiritual Achiever coaching program. You’ll figure out what’s next and actually go and do it. 

That’s it for this week. Have an amazing one and I’ll talk to you next time.

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