Over the long term…..No! Of course, I’ve tried this approach in my past – from time to time, every successful person most likely has to work long hours (whether for yourself or someone else); however, I’ve found taking a break can make you far more productive. Last week, I went to North Carolina to visit with my close friend from high school and college. We were at the beach for a few days with some new friends and then took a 3hr round trip to visit with former colleagues/ friends for about 40 minutes since that happened to be all the time available that day. Then, after returning home and going to a jam-packed meeting day for my business, I was able to get away with great friends in Catalina. Many years ago, I’m sure I would have been very stressed at taking off time when I should be finding prospective clients and working, working, working. Thank goodness, I’ve found that taking a break and enjoying family and friends is not only enjoyable but also add a touch of productivity to your business/ job.
How? Well, for many people, getting away from the day-to-day grind can free up thinking which creates even better productivity upon your return. Also, I find that I am able to learn new and relevant things on trips and with people. For example, I spent the ride home from the beach with a new friend, and we brainstormed about marketing activities for real estate, which can have some direct correlations and insights into marketing for consulting businesses. Also, in re-engaging with old friends/ former colleagues, it reminded me of events and reenergized me with respect to a few subjects. And, it reminded me of why I wanted to stay in touch with such fabulous people.
I find you can learn something from every experience. In Catalina, I went golfing because one of my friends, a high school student, was interested in golfing, and it reminded me of the value of practice. At first, my golf balls went all over the place (since I haven’t played in years), and so I convinced my friend that we should have a maximum # per hole; however, after several holes, I could see my swing coming back and the balls at least got off the ground and a few were solid shots (of course, it is easy to still screw up a solid shot with 4 putts but that’s another story).
The bottom line for me is to make sure to enjoy life, keep and maintain valued relationships and to keep an open mind as you never know where your next great idea will come from!