Three Signs That You Need a Break

Posted 09.16.2013

beach1A few weeks back, I wrote in this space that I’d be taking a break from blogging and would be back sometime in September. Well, here I am – back to it and excited to be doing so.

A break was just what I needed to give some thought to what I want to do here over the next few years. As always, my main goal is to share practical and applicable ideas that can help all of us be more effective as leaders and people. Most of the time, I’ll be back to posting three times a week – Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  The Mindful Mondays feature that I started earlier this year will focus on what we can do to be more mindful leaders. A few months ago, a good friend suggested that I should start a What the Hell Wednesdays feature. She was joking, but I think she’s on to something. So, the midweek posts will cover a wide range of topics and will often draw on a leadership lesson from current events. We’ll close the week out with a Friday Forum feature that will run the gamut from interviews with leaders and authors to reader polls to topics that you suggest.

So, I’m really excited about what’s coming up and looking forward to engaging with you here. To be honest, I couldn’t have come up with any of that (as simple as it is) a few weeks ago because, before taking this brief break from blogging, I was pretty burned out and the well was dry. After three weeks away, the energy and enthusiasm are back and the creative juices are flowing.

Which, based on personal experience, leads to a quick Mindful Monday reflection on three signs that you need a break. Here are my top three:

You’re out of ideas:  When you find that you’re consistently out of good ideas (in my case, about what to write about), it’s time to take a break. There are plenty of good ideas available, you just may too burned out to recognize them. When you’re feeling dry, take a break and come back later. It will be easier to see the good ideas.

You’re dreading it:  When you’re grinding it out even though the ideas aren’t flowing, you start to dread deadlines and the routines associated with them. When you start to dread doing something you used to love doing, that’s a good sign it’s time to take a break.

You’re repeating yourself:  Or at least you feel like you’re repeating yourself. If you’re overwhelming thought is “Dude, you are in a major rut,” then it’s time to take a break.

That’s my top three list of signs that you need a break. What are your top signals that you need a break? What do you do to press the reset button when you take a break?