Time OutMuhammad Zeeshan Ali, PMP, PMI-ACP
In all parts of the world, one thing that every professional agrees about is the importance of “Leaves” despite everyone having different plans and strategies regarding them. The concept of leaves, for most professionals, is mainly that it’s “Paid holidays where you finish your personal tasks”.
For me, annual leaves are much more than “Paid Leaves” and they are as much important as the time spent in office. Therefore, it is fair to say that the Annual Leaves deserve the same level of planning and attention like other work.
As discussed in my other article Over Time, one reason for resources for missing out on actual things is that they haven’t tasted the “real” thing therefore they cannot relate the benefits of having a good vacation.
The general practice is that the resources plan the vacation to finish some personal work which they could not have done with regular office hours. In reality, it means that actually you are not doing something different from your normal routine except from not going to the office. I have seen people regularly replying to emails and even attending meetings and participating in other work related activities during their leaves. I would simply call it “doing a big injustice” to yourself.
The professionals should learn that “Annual Leaves” differ from other off-days that they avail during the rest of the year. Annual leaves are meant to recharge your batteries and at the same time get those thoughts out of your mind to reduce stress levels. In order to observe them differently, one has to change its environment and do something different from the regular routine. Plan time out with your family, travel the world, explore new places and do something exciting. Make sure that during that time there is maximum disconnection with office work.
The more you relax and let your mind let go of the stress that it has gathered throughout the year, the more you will be ready to effectively perform your official activities when you resume your office work life.
The importance of having healthy Annual Leaves is also recognized by the organizations worldwide now and that is why they not only focus on resources regularly taking time out and planning them in their yearly calendar at the start of the year. Some organizations even pay extra to resources availing annual leave.
Availing proper leaves not only allows the resources to relax but also make a point clear that there should be no dependency on any resource and more focus should be on following processes and building a good knowledge base.