28 Sep 2017


While you might give anything for a few extra hours in the day, when given the opportunity to take ‘time off’ it can be difficult to know how to use it. Should you take the next flight somewhere hot and disconnect for a while or use the time to catch up if you feel you’ve fallen behind?

Here are our tips for taking time out.


In order to get things done amidst what can feel like a very short and sometimes repetitive schedule, we tend to go on auto-pilot, drawing on all our practice and experience to get things done efficiently and reliably. The problem with this is there’s little scope for anything new – new ideas, new methods and new perspectives. To be able to see things in a new light we need to switch auto-pilot off and put both hands on the wheel. Stepping away from the daily grind, whether it be for the close season or a holiday, is the perfect time to do this.


When you put your heart and soul into your job, all sorts of emotions can bubble under the surface, from fear, uncertainty and self-doubt to ambition and excitement. Any period away from work is a good time to allow these feelings to surface and face up to them, however uncomfortable that might seem at first. Give some thought to what’s behind these emotions, talking to friends, family or trusted advisers if need be. It will help you to return to work with a clear head.


When we’re on auto-pilot it’s easy to forget why we did things a certain way in the first place; did we choose these methods and behaviours or did we just slide into them over time? Now is the time to ask yourself some questions to re-evaluate everything from your approach to working and the goals you’ve set, to your personal lifestyle choices. What do I want to achieve in this role? How do I want to make a difference? What am I best at?


For an athlete, the close or off season is an opportunity to recover from injury and rest up before the cycle begins again, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be inactive. The same should apply for managers. While your body will need some rest and relaxation, it’s actually best served by staying physically active, whether that means regular low-intensity exercise such as hiking and swimming or something more demanding. Aim to return to work feeling fresh and energetic, not lethargic and heavy.


Just as our bodies need time to recover from any niggling injuries, our brains also need to recuperate, so don’t feel guilty or lazy about spending some of your time off doing very little indeed. You may find that when you’re lying on a sun lounger or strolling from one green to the next that your mind returns to thoughts of strategy, goals or problems, before finding peace again. This is fine too, it’s about allowing your mind to wander in whatever direction it chooses.