Be Willing to Take a Time Out

Although we sometimes act like we can continue endlessly, everyone needs a break at some point. If we recognize that and embrace it there are some benefits.

Rest to Recover

When we are willing to take a time out we are able to get the rest needed to recover from making a concerted effort to achieve our goals. Some people think a dedicated worker is one who regularly puts in 50, 60, 70 or 80 hours per week. Baloney! That is not dedicated, but rather it is foolish. There are crunch times when we do have to go long hours to complete something important. For example, I’ve spent enough time in the financial area of businesses to know that month-end, quarter-end, and year-end nearly always require a fair amount of extra hours to meet deadlines. But note that those are particular times of the year and exceptions. These long hours should not be something occurring every week. If they are, then something needs to be done. More help may be needed, different employees hired, processes improved, or something else needs to be changed.

A Ugly Reality to Excess Hours

In my posting When 40 Hours is Enough I related the statistics of a study on the impact of routinely working in excess of 40 hours per week. To make it brief, this study found that when this was routinely done that the hours over 40 tended to produce only about a 60% efficiency rate. So, if you were to routinely work 60 hours, the work done in the extra 20 hours would be approximately what would be produced in 12 hours of normal productivity. You can see that not only are you not getting all you expected, you are also paying an overtime premium to non-exempt employees for less productivity. That does not sound like a bargain. You’d be better off to hire more employees, if only on a part-time basis. Your employees may not be telling you, but their minds and bodies know they need to take a time out.

Clear the Head

Along with the physical rest that is needed, taking a break also helps to clear the head so that when we resume work we think clearer, are more productive, and are less prone to errors. Whether it be taking vacations, holidays, personal days, or just adhering to reasonable working hours, we all need this time away from work if we are to be at our best.

So, think about how things are going with your company. Is the need to take a time out acknowledged and embraced. If not then not only are employees being short-changed, but so is the company.

If you want to know more, contact AimCFO – Contact

As always, your comments are welcomed.


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