KitKat has a point.

The 31st March marks a quarter of the way through the year.

How many of you have taken holiday days so far? I’d guess not many. I too am guilty. Why take a break so soon after Christmas? Except Christmas was almost three months ago. Why take time off when there are few, if any, places to go? Except a break really needn’t be a week in the South of France or a two-week stay in an AirBnb or picturesque cottage by the sea.

Be they as they are – these justifications; excuses – no one can work non-stop and be productive, particularly in the context of a global pandemic.

How many of us felt refreshed after the Christmas break? How many of us made promises to remember the feeling of calm and creativity, away from the 24/7 Zoom calls, the frantic scrolling of emails and the always ‘on’?

There’s a temptation to feel like you don’t ‘deserve’ a holiday, but you’ve probably gone through some pretty intensive, dark and wet months. Layer on lockdown 3.0, home schooling and business as usual and suddenly you begin to realise it has been a pretty hard slog.

One of my clients has added a Friday off to every fourth weekend and really feels the benefit of a 4 days on – three days off week every now and again. Another asks their team to take half of their holiday leave spread equally in each quarter of the year (so roughly 3 days a quarter or one day a month). Yes save some for summer, but take recharge breaks to prevent dragging yourself into Christmas, battered and broken.

This is a gentle, but very real reminder to encourage yourself and your team to take some time off. Never underestimate the power of a long weekend – that Friday feeling on a Thursday, or the Saturday feeling on a Friday – with TWO whole days still to play with.

There will always be work to be done, another email to answer, a project you wish was moving at a faster pace, but the truth is you can’t have sustained periods of stress without burnout unless you’re recovering.

Time to detach from work at the weekend enable all of us to sustain performance, productivity, creativity and prevent burnout. They also make us happier. Can’t argue with that.

I hope this encourages you to take some days off and do what you will with them.

Me? I’ve scheduled some time off, and soon.

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