Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Practice What You Preach!

I really do believe in that statement! As a leader, it is very important to "practice what you preach," or as others might say "walk the talk." A leader can't be all fluff. There has to be substance, and he or she has to follow the rules they set. So, I decided I was going to put some of my preaching to practice!

I wrote a post a couple weeks back on "avoiding funks." In that post I touched on what I call "Mastering the Art of Scheduled Downtime." People really do need to master this art. It's one of the only ways to help prevent burnout in work and life. No one is made to go 100 MPH all the time. It's too much. It causes brain drain. People need to build in breaks and they need to maintain balance.

So, I took my own advice, and I scheduled some "downtime" from blogging. It's obvious that I took a couple weeks off (without providing notice to any of you), but it was needed! The downtime served a couple purposes:

  1. It allowed me to take a break. I was stressed. I had a lot going on with work/school/vacations, and something needed to go to the back burner for a while.
  2. It helped me maintain balance in other areas of life. It allowed me to focus on those work/school/family areas and not have to worry about my writing.

Looking back, should I have made my readers aware of my absence? I don't know. I've heard that taking a week off can really hurt a readership (let alone two weeks), but it needed to be done! Now, I come back refreshed and ready, with new ideas, new things to share! And, all I can do is hope that my readers will understand! And, I think they will. Why? Because they have been in my shoes before!!

You've got to schedule breaks! You can't go full bore, nonstop, all the time! It's draining! Leaders know this, and so do I. And, I hope that you will come to appreciate....no, savor.....no, MASTER.....the Art of Scheduled Downtime!!


Troy Worman said...

Great post. I'm a big fan of scheduled downtime.

Eric Peterson said...

Thank you Troy! Downtime is much needed, especially in this age of "multitasking"!

Thank you for stopping by Troy. I appreciate it.

Pete Jones said...

You did the right thing. You have to listen to your body and find out what the best ave. is to make sure you remain healthy and happy. I have had to do the same thing numerous times, of course I don't have the same level of reader base that you do! :)
Nice work.

Brenda said...

I know I'm ready for downtime, when, instead of actually taking a break, I find myself consuming more and more caffeine to maintain momentum! I don't know why that comes more automatically than looking inside myself and assessing the sitation, but I realize it's a behavior I need to curb for long term productivity.

Eric Peterson said...

Thanks for the words of encouragement. Your reader base will continue to grow, especially if you can find an angle that your readers can't find elsewhere!

Caffeine is a dangerous thing in that it's an easy avenue for the tired and burnt out to take! I am also one of those people who down the caffeine in order to maintain momentum (although I've heard water actually does a better job)!
This time around, though, I decided that downtime was a better avenue.

Even those that love their work, love being busy, perform well under stress, etc....they still need breaks!

Ron Hurst said...


Ironically I recently found myself doing the same thing on my blogs. Life ramped up beyond a reasonable ability to balance it. I simply had to focus on the main things and allow other things I am passionate about (blogging) simmer on a back burner for a while. I wrote a post about this recently on one of my blogs http://leadershiptrainingdevelopment.

Funny thing the time away dealing with life actually fueled a number of posts in the past several days. I just may have been in a "funk"? ;-)