Have you ever written an email that began with “sorry for the delay,” when replying in less than 24 hours — how about 12 hours, 6 hours, 3 hours? I know I have. Hell I’ve responded to emails in less than an hour and apologized for the delay when it was a conversational, back-and-forth thread. The unfortunate reality is that since the advent of email, and more specifically smartphones, the expectation is that you’re available and reachable 24/7. It’s for that very reason that it’s more important than ever to unplug and disconnect on a regular basis.
Work fatigue and burnout are very real and it affects all of us in different ways; you often don’t even realize you’re suffering from burnout until you’re able to get away for a few days. You’ll be amazed at how refreshed and re-energized you’ll feel when you come back to work after time off the grid. I’ve found that the weekend is not quite enough time to get everything out of your system, so ideally extend it with a Friday or Monday off. It’s remarkable how much longer a 3-day weekend feels as compared to a typical weekend – certainly more than the 50% longer simple arithmetic tells us.