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Great teams understand the need for rest and therefore respect the time their teammates take off. This means they plan to not communicate with them until they return to work. A quick question on a day off robs a person of the time their mind needs to disconnect. Resting one day to work hard on the other six days is a reasonable deal. Teammates who struggle to disconnect from resting teammates require a boundary to be set. Leaders who do not respect time will pay for their “extra productivity” with morale. That’s never a good trade and will cost the team a good teammate over time. Great teams understand that they are not entitled to every spare minute a teammate has and that is especially true on a day off. A team that says they value a solid work ethic without valuing a solid rest ethic lack the discipline and respect that greatness requires.
Great teams build specific times of rest into their plans. Days off can have a bad connotation for some who take pride in not needing to take a break. The truth is that we will take a break whether we plan for it or not so it’s better to plan for a day off so that the work stoppage is strategic rather than a “wheels falling off the wagon” moment. Which situation is better: scheduling time to get new tires or waiting until a tire goes flat? Neither are likely to be convenient but when we schedule the tire change we can at least plan around the inconvenience. Random flat tires can ruin your day because they punctuate a plan instead of being a part of one. Our minds and bodies are as susceptible to a “flat tire” moment as our car is. We need to schedule rest so that we can be at our best when our best is needed. Resist the rest shaming by those who quietly rest when they should be working and take an intentional break that makes sense.
The number one way leaders waste their teammate’s time is by allowing a meeting to go longer than planned. If we expect people to manage their time well, we cannot expect them to plan around our own lack of planning. Most meetings run over because of small choices to dwell too long on a topic or stray too far off the agenda. Meetings should only ever be called when an email won’t result in a decision. Meetings can be long, and when they are, they need to be well thought out to respect people’s time. Long meetings that are long because they are productive are appropriate because sometimes it takes a long conversation to make a decision. Long meetings that are long because the person who is running the meeting is undisciplined and unprepared are disrespectful and selfish. Those meetings cost the team too much time for the return. Not only are things not getting done in needlessly long meetings but morale suffers because after all the effort there is no meaningful resolution.