Stressed? Overworked? Odds are your team is, too.
I'm a big believer in downtime. Does that mean the team takes a week to slack off? Nope. But it means they get a break so their brains aren't in overdrive 24/7/365. Here are three quick tips on how to create effective "time off" for your team.
1. Don't Overschedule
Have a huge tradeshow? Don't schedule a project kick-off or critical meetings the next week. Giving the team time to breathe replenishes the brain’s stores of attention and motivation. This downtime is essential to achieving high performance levels.
2. Lead by Example
If you're asking your team to have a light week, don't be "that guy". Don't send them e-mails at midnight or stay in the office until 8 pm each night. By doing so, you're showing them it's not okay to take a break. Even if you are sending those late night e-mails, schedule them to go out first thing in the morning (trust me, they'll never know the difference).
3. Plan Something Fun
Everyone loves an out-of-the-ordinary experience. Do something your team will enjoy and show them you appreciate their hard work. Take them for a hibachi lunch, do an escape room or even plan a mid-day Zumba session! Whatever it is, make sure it's something that will create a bonding opportunity and doesn't place any additional stress on them (aka don't make mandatory fun after-hours).
After a big event, tradeshow, project, etc. the team NEEDS some time to slow down. A continual high-stress workplace leads to a team that is less focused and less creative. As Tony Schwartz says "human beings perform best and are most productive when they alternate between periods of intense focus and intermittent renewal.”
Have any tips for creating effective downtime? Share them in the comments below.
Megan A. Dutta